Please listen to the module introduction.
Welcome back from the Sacred Mountain! Welcome back to the opportunity to take the seed of your Purpose and plant it deeply into the soil of your life. There are hazards and pitfalls that lie in wait. Though you bring the seed of your purpose with you from your Solo Time, you may find that, inexplicably, you delay planting it, or forget to water it. What follows is encouragement and scaffolding for embodying what you have received.
As you know, a SoulQuest has three distinct stages: Severance, Threshold, and Incorporation. Now, as you come back from the Sacred Mountain, it is time to explore and live the third and final phase of the Quest.
Incorporation is the process of taking something and including it or weaving it into your life. You will be taking the revelatory wisdom you may have received from Soul and embodying it in the days and weeks ahead. Knowing a thing isn’t the same as living it. Wisdom known only with the intellect is mere knowledge, and is not really wisdom at all. For example, knowing that you should look both ways before crossing the street is a fact. This fact won’t save you from getting run over; for that you’d have to incorporate this fact into a living practice. We don’t wish for children to learn “look both ways” as a mere fact; rather, we want our children to live this wisdom in their lives as an action.
Moses received this commandment on his Soul Quest: “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” He learned from the Mystery that living in accordance with this commandment would bring increased stability to himself and his people. Had Moses descended from Mt. Sinai and cheated on his wife, he would have failed to metabolize the wisdom he received.
Warning: you are in danger of having your Threshold experience remain just that, an experience. You may have felt the thrill of your soul opening up to you during the solo time. The vision is the start of the Quest, not its culmination. Many Questers have failed to plant the seed of their vision deeply enough into the soils of their lives. For them, the soul-encounters they received became a memory, not a transformational experience.
It is easy to assume that Moses’ vision on Mt. Sinai was the transformational experience, but that would be incorrect. What he received was a vision from Mystery. The transformational moment came when he lived what he learnt, when he became a demonstration to his people of a man on fire with a code. Friend, it’s time to live your vision. It will be your great joy and benefit the world.
Immediate vs Delayed Epiphanies
Having described Moses’ experience, there is however zero expectation that you have an “aha” moment during the Threshold period. Often, the “aha’s” happen well after the Threshold ceremony. Sometimes the epiphany happens on the Sacred Mountain, and other times the ceremony ignites a long fuse that will go off well after the conclusion of the Threshold time. Some people experience the epiphany like a waterfall of insight crashing down on them. Other people wake up one day, well after the Threshold period, and realize that they have been standing in an epiphany fog, and without even realizing it, they have become saturated to the bone with a sense of purpose.
What follows in Modules 10-12 is written to help you incorporate and embody the aha moments, whether the aha happens on the day of the Threshold period or after. There is no reason to rush. If you didn’t experience an epiphany during the Threshold ceremony, then my advice is this: for these next few weeks, while you have the support of your guide, begin to use the practices contained in Modules 10-12. Use this time to get familiar with the incorporation process under the guidance of your mentor. Then, after the program is over, if incorporation feels like a step “too far too far ahead” of your current experience/needs, simply continue with the soul-encounter practices scattered throughout the first 9 Modules, until such time as soul directs you to bring your focus to Modules 10-12.
In this section, we’ll explore five elements of Incorporation, including Resistance, Intention, Practice, Time and Place.
Incorporation Resistance: The gravitational pull of your pre-Quest life exerts a steady pressure on you to not transform. You will be gently (sometimes strongly) pulled nearly every instance to not incorporate what you received. Imagine Moses coming down from the mountain, assailed with temptation to not live the truth he has received. To illustrate this, let’s contemplate commandments 2, 3, 4 and 10:
- TWO: ‘You shall not make for yourself a carved image’ That golden calf is beautiful. I could start a business making mini golden calves, bring beauty to my people and maybe find some financial security.
- THREE: ‘You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.‘ God Dammit, first slavery and now wandering through the desert for 40 years.
- FOUR: ‘Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.‘ I’m tired of following these tedious spiritual practices. 613 Torah commandments are overkill.
- TEN: ‘You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife…’ I love Aaron’s new tent, I want one. And Aaron’s wife is a beauty…
Like Moses (in my fictional scenario), you too will hear the call to ignore what you have received. Can I make a quick buck with my purpose? Can I throw away my ethical and/or spiritual practices now that I know my purpose? Will I allow my commitment to my purpose to dissolve? Will the pull of safety, security, fame, or sex distract me from incorporation? Expect that your default purposes will persistently tug at you. How will you meet this challenge?
Recall the conclusion of the Moses story: God punishes Moses and the Israelites (with 40 years of wandering in the desert) for their disbelief and disobedience to the Vision. Will you turn away from your Vision? If you do, you might find yourself wandering in the desert of a life without the living depth of your purpose.
Incorporation Intention: The incorporation intention is, to live your purpose in the marketplace of life. Soul gives you the beauty, goodness and truth of your purpose and, in turn, you share this with the world. A purpose (small “p”) is something I do for myself. The purpose this Octagon Process is supporting you to discover is a purpose-beyond-self (purpose with a capital “P”.). Here is an orienting metaphor: imagine you have unknowingly been a trust fund baby since birth. Your spiritual parents (who are Spirit and Soul) have invested you with a Vision, Powers, Task, and Giveaway. You aren’t supposed to leave these newly discovered riches in the “Purpose Bank” earning soul-interest. No! You are meant to become a philanthropist, skillfully giving away your renewable treasure to your people, thus enriching the whole world.
Incorporation Practice: You will be taking time each day to work with the wisdom you received during your solo-time. Get to work! Start building your delivery system for your Giveaway right away. How do you do it? Of course, you cannot know for sure. You have to throw yourself into your creativity and begin! Here are a few gems from Goethe that can blow on the embers of your creativity:
- “Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.”
- “What is not started today, is never finished tomorrow.”
- “Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it.”
Module 10 Practices
Practice 10:1 – Incorporation Time
In the traditional Vision Quest ceremony, the duration of the incorporation period is one year. During the Incorporation phase of your Soul Quest, you will want to set aside time for living your purpose. This can feel daunting in the face of all your pre-Quest commitments continuing to tempt you:
I don’t have the time to embody my purpose, but next week I’ll get to it. I need to take one more training before I can live my purpose. I’m not ready to share what I learned about my purpose with my friends.
Homeostasis uses these “truths” to slow down incorporation. You may indeed be pressed for time, benefit from some additional training or feel nervous about “coming out” with the 2.0 version of your life. Your reasons for delay almost always have an element of truth. You are going to have to meet these obstacles to incorporation with a variety of tools, including making time every day to nourish the incorporation process.
Let’s use the analogy of marriage. The wedding preparation phase takes months: planning a ceremony and a celebration. The Threshold period of a wedding takes perhaps a single hour: making vows to your spouse. But… it is the way you marry (commit to) your spouse, child, Ph.D. dissertation, instrument, business, pet cat or dog, etc. This means you commit time to your purpose. In the audio connected to this handout, I’ll talk about purpose minutes, hours and days.
- Purpose Minutes: these are the moments when you declare your purpose aloud and feel yourself absorbing the words at a cellular level.
- Purpose Hours: these are your daily “office hours” which you schedule specifically to bring your purpose alive into the world.
- Purpose Days: these are the days/weeks that you take purpose retreats, allowing you to take deep dives into incorporation.
Schedule some time for the minutes, hours and days of incorporation practice.
Practice 10:2 – Incorporation Place
Perform a short re-investiture ceremony for your Purpose Altar. Ask your allies (Soul, Mystery, Animal Guide, Circle of Trust, teachers, etc.) to gather “in spirit” with you at your home altar and then tell them the story of your Threshold/Solo-time. Most importantly, at the end of the ceremony, write a short letter of commitment from yourself to your purpose. Read it aloud and then place it on your altar. Then, every day for an entire year, reread the letter before your altar, and feel yourself recommitting daily to your purpose.
Practice 10:3 – Transmutation Prayer
You will want to allow the Mystery to rewire you for your purpose. How? Every day, ask for help. Perhaps it will sound something like this: “Mystery, I have received glimpses of my purpose from you and now it’s time to start living them. But there are many moments when I do not feel ready, or when I feel that I’m ‘not enough’ in some way, to start living my purpose. I pray to you now, Mystery, to infuse my body with the wisdom, creativity, energy and courage to take a small step forward today to bring my purpose alive.”
Compose your own prayer and say it at least 1x a day. You might wish to consult the article “What Is Prayer?”.
Practice 10:4 – Threshold Sharing
Write between 1-3 pages describing your experience at the Threshold Weekend.
Practice 10:5 – Re-Reading and Contemplating Practices 6:4 to 6:5
Now it is time to revisit for a third time two of the practices from Module 6 and deepen your understanding and relationship with each of them. By attending to the incorporation dimension of your Quest, you increase the potential for living a purposeful life of great impact and joy.
6:4 Simplifying Your Life (Revisit this Writing Assignment)
A common mistake first time Questers make is to skip the subtractive element of the Quest. This rarely works. You cannot just add insights from Soul to your preexisting life, no matter how much you wish you could. You cannot become a butterfly if you refuse to relinquish the life of the caterpillar. The caterpillar begins with the call to transformation, moves into the severance stage, and relinquishes its former identity to make space for the new. So, clearing a space of the relationships, activities, roles, and possessions that you have outgrown is a dimension of the Quest that cannot be skipped. You will drown out your vision if you do not continually give it space to live in your life. With this in mind, contemplate what you wrote in Practice 6:4 and edit the paragraphs as needed.
- What relationships or parts of relationships get in the way of my exploring my deepest nature?
- What activities get in the way of my exploring my deepest nature?
- What roles get in the way of my exploring my deepest nature?
- What possessions get in the way of my exploring my deepest nature?
- Surrender of: What beliefs about how I was supposed to be and how the world was supposed to work do I need to surrender?
- Surrender to: What deep and wild passions (buried as they might be) do I need to surrender to?
6:5 Reduce/Eliminate (Revisit this Writing Assignment)
Reduce or eliminate: TV, sugar, junk food, alcohol, drugs, gossiping, heavy meals, online addictions (e.g., email, Facebook, web surfing, constantly checking your phone, porn, YouTube, Netflix), lying, workaholism, caffeine and other “addictions”.
Just because you’ve completed the Vision Fast (Solo Time) doesn’t mean you should resume your old habits/addictions. It is highly recommended that you continue your “fast” from your addictions for at least 30 days following the completion of your Solo Time.
Module 10 Summary
Exhortation to get to work: “Somebody once told me the definition of hell: On your last day on earth, the person you became will meet the person you could have become.” – Anonymous
- 10:1 – Incorporation Time – Schedule some time for the minutes, hours and days of incorporation practice. Share your schedule with your Mentor/Guide.
- 10:2 – Incorporation Place (Altar ceremony) – Perform a short re-investiture ceremony for your Purpose Altar, then at the end of the ceremony, write a short letter of commitment from yourself to your purpose. Share your letter with your Mentor/Guide.
- 10:3 – Transmutation Prayer – Compose your own prayer and say it at least 1x a day. Share your prayer with your Mentor/Guide
- 10:4 – Threshold Sharing – Write between 1-3 pages describing your experience at the Threshold Weekend.
- 10:5 – Re-Reading, Contemplating & Rewriting Practices 6:4 to 6:5 – Update what you wrote to reflect any new learnings/understandings that have recently emerged. This is a BIG deal! You are committing yourself to constructing a new life that supports your soulcentric life!
No further reading requested for the Purpose Discovery Program.However, there are some incorporation-related chapters at the end of Soulcraft that you might wish to consult.