"If you bring forth what is within you,
what you bring forth will save you.
If you do not bring forth what is within you,
what you do not bring forth will destroy you. "
- Gnostic Gospel of Thomas
Shaman healers have a term which describes a person who is out of tune with the vital wellspring of their being - "loss of soul".
In the modern world we would call this condition simply: depression.
I know it well.
In 2015 whilst studying my MA in Philosophy I felt the menacing presence of depression.
Every ambition, every hope, was steadily sapped of energy by a pervasive sense of the pointlessness of my life. What is the point? I asked myself.
The existentialists call this 'existential despair' - a complete loss of meaning.
Since that time I've been exploring philosophy and psychology - a term which literally translates to "the study of the soul" - in an effort to heal and recover a deeper sense of life.
What I've come to appreciate is that "loss of soul" is what happens when we fail to bring forth the deepest gifts that lie dormant within us...
When unexpressed the weight of our potential be crushing.
On the journey home to ourselves the guidance of an inner power in needed.
Throughout history this power has been known by many names.
For the Greeks it was our "Daimon" or "Muse", the Romans called it our "Genius" and Christian mystics speak of the "Inner Light". In a secular context this power is referred to simply, yet no less mysteriously, as "Imagination"...
This inner power is the source of all vision, intuition and inspiration.
If we heed its call we will find our way onto a path which is truly our own.
The vision behind Ways to Self is to explore - through story, symbol, philosophy and psychology - how we can live in greater harmony with this power and thereby realise our inherent potential as human beings.
- Sam Glenn, Ways to Self Founder.