For many years I have been teaching week-long retreats in Mallorca about the Gateways to the Soul. And what I have learned through these retreats is that if we want to make significant advances or breakthroughs in our lives - if we want to be more open to the forces of newness in the world - we need to find the appropriate entry points or gateways that will lead us to these forces. If we can each alight upon those entry points that work for us and, very important, if we then commit ourselves to working our way through them, what we will discover is that our lives suddenly start working for us in ways we never would have believed.
Not all gateways work the same way for all of us, and one that might open to you may not do so to me. Some people find gates opening through the weapon of their intellect, others via beauty (this is the way of my darling wife - wherever she goes, she brings beauty and she makes things beautiful). Others may pass through a gateway via concrete action in the world - being a mover and a shaker for a better society. Some people touch into the new story through their visionary capabilities (Elon Musk, for example). My way has been more through the heart, as you will be seeing.
Each chapter therefore explores a different gateway. We can touch into a new story through discovering new dimensions of power, through opening to courage, through finding a deeper love, through working with our dark side, through accessing joy, through being willing to confront death, and so on, and I have chapters on all these topics.
Each entry point, if followed through, is able potentially to connect us to a different facet of “new-storydom.” Let me explain it this way. Let us say we want to find out more about Greece! If so, we need to find one or more entry points that will take us to that nation’s heart, for when we access that heart, then we potentially have access to everything we need to know about that country. The challenge is to find a way appropriate for us. Perhaps, if we are literary, we can get there through a knowledge of Greek literature. If we are a musician, perhaps we can familiarize ourselves with the folk music of that country; if an architect, with Greek architecture. Similarly, Greek food, or Greek wines, or its politics can also be revelatory. Conversely, we can fall in love with someone from that country - a very strong entry point indeed. It doesn’t matter. The more ways we have of touching into the essence of Greece, the better.
And so each chapter in this book serves as a potential gateway or entry point into a potentially new story for humanity. I could have written many more chapters on other entry points, but I think the ones I have included here are sufficient and give you enough information. As I also work as a corporate consultant, I have included a chapter about finding a new story for the corporate world as I think it very important that this arena goes through a powerful metamorphosis. My thesis, then, is basically this: if we can find the right gateway or gateways for ourselves and, going through them, we initiate radical changes in our lives, then we’ll begin seeing the world in a new way and so start living in a new way. Certain things we used to do, we’ll stop doing and certain others things we never thought we’d be involved with, we find ourselves taking up. So whether we are a butcher or baker or candlestick maker, or economist, educator, professor of engineering, IT consultant, social worker or housewife, this new way will then gradually get injected more and more into the way we think and operate.
What I hope you will start to see as you get more into this book is that the shift from an old-story way of approaching life to a new-story way is a transition on many levels. Not only will your vision be expanded, but you will become fitter physically, emotionally and mentally as well as having access to many significant human qualities that may not have been available to you before.
Evolving your soulhood
I talk a lot about soul. If there is one thing which distinguishes the new stories from the old, it is that in the new stories we have a lot of soul and in the old ones soul is very much obscured. Find a gateway into a new story, and soul in all its many manifestations starts emerging. Learn to experience joy or to open your heart in love, and soul appears. We can say, then, that every chapter in this book represents a different gateway into soul, and as all of them have exercises at the end to help you work through what you have just read, you may also view this book as being a kind of work manual to help you evolve your soulhood.
This book may also be seen as a follow-on from my last book, Awakening the Universal Heart: A Guide for Spiritual Activists, where I argued that if we learn to open up our hearts and realize more of the humanity existing inside them, that we can become a very potent force for change in the world. As I believe it is mainly through our hearts that we can hear the promptings of our soul, for me soul and heart are very close to each other and the more we have of one, often the more we have of the other.