"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 has not yet come to discover and manifest their unique potential in this life - "loss of soul".
Us moderns might call this condition simply: depression.
I know it well.
In 2015 whilst at the University of Essex 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 pursuing psychology - which literally translates to "the study of the soul" - in an effort to heal and find a deeper sense of meaning.
What I've come to understand is that "loss of soul" is what happens when we fail to express the deepest gifts that lie within us...
When unexpressed the weight of our potential can crush us.
To heal we must call upon the guidance of a creative inner power.
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" whilst modern thinkers have referred to it simply as the "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 intention behind Ways to Self is to discover - through an exploration of narrative, art, symbols, philosophy and psychology - how we can live more authentically.
- Sam Glenn - Founder of Ways to Self.