During my childhood, I remember my grandma used to tell us a story of a meeting place after each of us will die. In the Christian Orthodox religion after the body dies the soul travels through many customs where is judged by the way he/she behaved. That gave me a large perspective about life and a more relaxed way to see and participate in funerals. As a family, the focus was put on diseases and death and less on celebrating births and enjoying life. We celebrated only one part of the soul journey, only one gate of leaving this reality. I feel gratitude for introducing me to the concept of soul.
Until adolescence, I never asked questions about my own birth or what happened to the soul until it comes to mom’s womb. I was fascinated to read about the world’s religions and traditions and to experiment with contemplating reality and its symbolism. I was introduced to Carl Gustav Jung's works and the concept of consciousness & unconsciousness.
“When one reflects upon what consciousness really is, one is profoundly impressed by the extreme wonder of the fact that an event which takes place outside in the cosmos simultaneously produces an internal image, that it takes place, so to speak, inside as well, which is to say: becomes conscious. (Jung 1961, p. 382) For indeed, our consciousness does not create itself – it wells up from unknown depths. In childhood, it awakens gradually, and all through life it wakes each morning out of the depths of sleep from an unconscious condition. It is like a child that is born daily out of the primordial womb of the unconscious. … It is not only influenced by the unconscious but continually emerges out of it in the form of numberless spontaneous ideas and sudden flashes of thought. (Jung, 1968a, p.935)”
After some years of explorations through meditations, I went to Holotropic Breathwork sessions (the concept was developed by Stanislav Grof) where I discovered the “other gate” of the soul journey: coming into form. Holotropic Breathwork - Session 1: I saw myself surrounded by many souls that were gathering for my departure. I was their leader and accepted the challenge to leave that place with a mission. I felt a great responsibility on my shoulders and give blessings to all. I saw my mother and father from the sky talk a little and saying goodbyes. I left the place and descend to another place, another gathering was waiting for me. From the impressive reals, I arrived in a more human atmosphere. A celebration was taking place with dancing and a big fire in the middle. I meet my ancestors who were celebrating my coming to the Earth. Coming down more I saw myself in the womb of my mother. I saw my body and that I will be a girl. Then I said: How can a big soul will enter in such a small body! How can a powerful soul will do his mission as a girl? (my personal experience from a session of Holotropic Breathwork)
After those sessions, I could sense the continuum of a soul journey, a cycle that rotates, like the Uroboros symbol, with the meaning of experiencing, creating and evolving. As I started to prepare this essay, I found this beautiful quote that touched my heart: “In a sense we are pregnant with our own souls and the responsibility we face is the nurturing of our souls just as our parents nurtured us during our time in the womb. At birth a child is born, at death a soul is freed. The state of our souls at death depends entirely on our efforts or lack of them during our precious earthly sojourn, the soul's gestation period.” (from Farrant G., 1986)