The Kiss of Life: Enlightenment = When the Soul Meets the Body

Are you out of your mind?

Not yet; but I’m working on it.

The last online Dave Oshana event, Sunday’s “The Untriggering: Coming Alive As Consciousness Fully Enters the Body” (see also accompanying article, “Untriggered: From Zombified to Fully Alive”) was described by one long-time participant as “the most essential class I ever heard from Dave.” The event began with a question central not only to the concept of enlightenment but to understanding and resolving all human misery.

The question: Why isn’t our consciousness fully distributed throughout our bodies?

This led to a second question that was really more of a riddle: Can we employ our minds as a way to get our minds out of the way of our life force? This exercise requires will power, Dave said, even though will power is something Dave never talks about.

Employing the mind in this capacity, he joked, is like when a horny couple sends their kid on an errand to get him out of the way. It’s not that the mind is really up to the job; just that giving it something to do is the easiest way to get it out of the house.

If we have no conscious awareness of being fully in our bodies, apparently there is a resistance to the soul coming into the body. Can we change our awareness so that it is no longer located in the head but begins to move into the other, neglected areas of our corporeality?

In the lore of after-death Bardo realms, there are two sorts of light; one of them is a trap, the other leads to freedom. In a similar fashion, there is a right way and a wrong way to move awareness into the body.

Trauma in the body is like a wire mesh around the cork in a bottle that keeps the cork in. The end of the line in the body is the feet. When a person is afraid, their soul moves away from the soles of their feet.

In this way, much of our mental activity is orphaned, fragmented. It serves as a way to avoid difficult feelings and sensations. We try to solve things in our inner imaginary mind-world, in the place where rationalizations take place. A rationalization is a way we use our minds to avoid seeing the truth.

The other end of this awareness spectrum is the feet. The feet are essential to us, and the feet become lifeless—soulless—when we withdraw attention from them, like food without vitality.

In a similar way, our bodies have become barren wastelands. It is necessary to go into the body to resolve this problem, rather than off into flights of fantasy. We need to get the spirit back into the bottle, because currently it is almost all the way out of the top.


The mind cannot move into the abandoned areas of the body alone; something has to go ahead of the mind for the mind to even notice what is happening.

Being inside the mind is an addiction: it is toxic, it offers us certain things but also takes things from us. The cost of going into the mind is like the deal with the devil, like Hollywood movies: the mind makes an offer and promises us a payoff, but only if we break our covenant with God/the life force, turn away from our inner guidance, suspend our disbelief, and let a false narrative carry us away.

Getting the soul back into the body is the beginning of wisdom.

When the soul withdraws from the feet, our connection to the Earth is lost. It is a form of creeping death. To reverse this process, it is necessary to push our awareness into the legs, to look for two-way energy inside the legs, located between the calves and the feet.

To be aware of a consciousness that is sensing its way into the legs is to become aware of something that is fighting to prevent that awareness from coming in. There is a contraction within us that causes pain and discomfort. Awareness has to go into the pain, to push through that dead zone, where the zombies of internal triggers are constantly devouring our life force.

Untriggering is the release of triggers from the body, learning to move energy calmly through the body.

Since the creeping death sensation starts in the feet, that is where the life force awareness must go to reverse that deathly creep.


All of this echoes so closely my experience of my father that his life seems like a living embodiment of the principles Dave is describing. My father began to develop a crippling condition in his legs some time before I was born, though it didn’t become fully apparent until later. The condition was an extremely rare genetic one, inherited from both his parents; it began in his toes and was noticeable at first only as an odd way of walking. Over time, his toes began to curl up and he had difficulty placing his feet flat on the ground. (Dave mentioned “toe-curling sex” on the event, as a possible indication of life force withdrawal.)

The first thing the doctors attempted was to break all my father’s toes and stick metal pins through them to straighten them out. This caused my father immense agony but did nothing to improve his condition. In fact, there was no cure, not via modern medicine at least, and his walking degenerated over a period of several years after my mother left him (when I was six). By the time of my adolescence, he was walking with crutches and it took him a long time even to get up out of his seat, much less to make his way upstairs at night. He refused any help, and resisted using a wheelchair until his sixties. By the end of his life, his legs were little more than dead weight. This is what I wrote about him in Prisoner of Infinity:

The earliest memory I have of my father—the only one I have of him while he was still living with us—is when I was around six or seven: he was half naked and unconscious—dead drunk—on the bedroom floor. No doubt the shocking nature of the scene seared itself onto my consciousness, and forever after I associated my father with unconsciousness, powerlessness, and incapacitation (maybe even death, if I didn’t understand what had happened to him). My clearest impression of him, then, was as an absence. . . . I hardly saw him at all: when I spent the weekend with him, he would mostly hide behind a newspaper, and having a conversation with him was practically impossible. I do remember one time, probably when I was a teenager, asking him how he could stand to believe there was nothing after death. “If there’s nothing, I won’t know it,” he replied. “So why should I care?”

In the last years of his life, it would be hard to say what, if anything, my father believed in. . . . At some level, my father never grew past adolescence, presumably because his father didn’t hold the necessary space for him to step into his own authority, his own manhood, his own body. . . . He disliked technology, and it took him years to admit he needed a wheelchair. That stubbornness combined with stoicism was part and parcel with his inability to admit that he was, after all, a cripple. I suspect he felt abandoned, not only by God and by his own father, but by his body. He was—in the fullest sense that I have experienced directly—a lost soul.

When I think of my father as I knew him, it’s been hard for me to feel much. It’s as if he had already vacated the premises by the time I was old enough to have a conscious relationship with him. I have found it easier to connect to him emotionally when I imagine how he was before I was born, when he first met my mother: full of aspirations and a passionate belief in his own potential. I suspect that having children, the burden of that responsibility (which almost certainly led him to join his father’s business), broke his spirit, and that when he found he couldn’t carry the burden he’d assumed, his legs gave out and he gave up the ghost. He kept on living but no longer had anything substantial to live for, besides work and pleasure. There was no higher meaning he could believe in, not even the higher meaning of his own spirit. Especially not that.

I see my father’s life as a tragedy; but ironically, what makes it a tragedy in my eyes is that he was unable or unwilling to see it that way himself. He not only turned his back on his own spiritual potential (authenticity), he told himself that there was no such thing to turn away from, that it was just empty belief and social control. He turned his lack of faith into an intellectual position. I think that was what really crippled him. A spiritual potential that isn’t embodied becomes, by slow degrees, a spiritual disease, a soul sickness. It’s a fate that I have devoted my life to avoiding, and it’s probably what compelled me to write this account.


That was written around 2013. In 2001, while I was living in Guatemala, chaotically apprenticing to be a shaman-healer and doing way too many psychedelics, I began to notice that my toes were acting strange. They seemed numb a lot of the time (my circulation was poor) and the nerves seemed messed up: when I pressed on the top of my big toe bone, I would feel a weird electrical spasm at the end of the toe. Since I was roughly the age my father was when his condition grew serious, I started to fret that I had inherited it. I began to pay special attention to my feet. I massaged them regularly with Tiger Balm and did everything I could to bring life and awareness to them, stamping and shaking and stretching, praying and ritualizing.

There is a tradition that shamans are often lame and that their sickness is central to their calling—i.e. that they only develop their healing gifts when a mysterious sickness compels them to heal themselves. I was convinced my father’s condition related to loss of soul, to his inability to fulfill his destiny. I was determined not to suffer the same fate.

It’s curious for me to look back on this time now, in the light of Dave’s description of a “creeping death that begins in the feet.” It seems to me that so many of my physical afflictions were the result of my body’s wisdom, compelling me (my localized, mind-based awareness) to place attention on those areas that most needed the life force to enter into. In this light, the decades of physical anguish I suffered begins to seem like a blessing in disguise.

It pays to keep this in mind when suffering current afflictions, setbacks, or difficulties. Things look very different on the other side of wisdom-awakening.


Because I wanted to listen to the Sunday event lying in my hammock in the Sun, I had to put up with a crappy connection on my laptop that eventually made it impossible to keep my camera on. During a break, I decided to restart the laptop to see if the issue resolved itself. Big mistake: the restart took over twenty minutes, with interminable periods of nothing happening as I tried to open tabs and programs to get back into the meet. There are few things more maddening than an extremely slow, unresponsive computer when in a hurry, and like most people in similar circumstances, I was briefly triggered into a rage and yelled out my frustration.

When I finally got back to the meet, Dave was talking about overflow channels in the body, for charge to spill out and redistribute itself. If these channels are blocked, he said, the charge builds up in a single area of the body and a person explodes—just as I had a moment ago. Opening up these overflow channels allows charge to move out of the trigger-areas and into the rest of the body.

From the tips of our toenails to the ends of the hairs on our heads, he said, there is awareness in the body. To God, “the very hairs of your head are all numbered,” I thought. Did Christ’s awareness likewise enter into every atom of his body? Is this what enlightenment is?

Our entire internal world is largely geared towards having a body. The energy of the body is constantly in motion, Dave says, and that motion can effortlessly carry our attention out of the mind and into the body, where it is supposed to be.

If you feel lonely, that loneliness may come from your body. When attention doesn’t join with the body, attention feels lonely. To be lonely is to feel unnoticed.

Yet God notices every sparrow that falls.

Virtual reality quasi-existence, on the other hand—the dark side of the panopticon—turns awareness into a ghost, an image, a disembodied attention that is being fed only by technological simulations. There are only two alternatives for our awareness to dwell in: the mind, or the body. The mind is a supposed sanctum, a fortress from which we try to solve all our problems; but to date, it has not solved anything (at least not without creating worse problems).

The journey back into the body is a solitary journey. No one can hold our hand on our way there. Enlightenment is the path of no merit. No one will reward us for this. The only difference is our quality of life: that when we die and our bodies are placed into the earth, we will have fully known them. Our bodies will have received the kiss of life from our souls, and we will have truly lived.

My father did not receive this kiss of life, and he did not fully live his life. Nor did my brother, and nor did my mother.

The only remaining question is: Will I?


Next Dave event: “Necessary Dissolution,” Sunday 16 Aug 2020, 9 am PDT, 12 noon ET, 5 pm UK time. Price: 30 euros.

Note: there are a number of free online Affinity Group meetings each week (I host two and attend two more). All that’s required for attendance is to contact me via the contact page at this site. In most cases, attending at least one online Oshana event (preferably a recent one) is also required.

21 thoughts on “The Kiss of Life: Enlightenment = When the Soul Meets the Body”

  1. Jasun!…

    As I grow in faith, which is part and parcel of attaining a reunification with our Eternal Spark of Soul, I am compelled by your words to respond.

    First off, our feet-our beautiful feet!- that propel us along our wonderful paths on this earth, are like so many neglected parts of our bodies, used and abused, with hardly a full awareness of their even existing, aside from what we can use them for, and squeeze out of ’em… worked hard and put away dirty, our mostly unloved, yet faithful dogs!

    Like the last words I tried to communicate, which were seen as arrogance, these will likely sound just as High Holy, and in my opinion, they are a gift to me from up high, so I’d like to try and share- not to say look at me! Look at Me!, but to say “look what’s been given to me, and is given to those that truly want it!, and seem to be intended for All the Creator’s Children!”
    So, let us rejoice while we learn…

    Our feet are seen as having correlations to all other body systems, particularly in Eastern understanding.
    Most Westerners, most Humans in developed nations, abuse their feet daily with no regard, trapping them in mostly plastic and unloved animal skin, not allowing them to breathe freely nor to connect with the earth, which is their primary purpose in relation to holding our bodies ( not many, yet, can walk on water or air! ) – that, and receiving healing energy from raw earth and stone- not man’s chemical concretions!
    They connect and relay sensitive messages to us, like all our other senses.
    I speak from earned personal experience, while on my healing path, as I literally walk barefoot across and around this beautiful bit of northern Chihuahuan desert, with the sun there to help in its ways- a joy that should not and does not have to belong to me alone! I am heeled! ( very Punny)
    Our poor, neglected feet, that under normal sane use would be a secure and near constant connection to our healing Mother Earth, yet most willingly sever that connection, or have it separated by someone/ thing else.
    For a brief spell as kids we might be allowed it, but in general it is frowned upon, and fear is thrown on to the act of being bare footed- after all, filth and disease is everywhere rampant, and we Must Be Afraid, or so the taint will tell us!
    We should not listen to taint, and should instead reacquaint ourselves with our powerful child that knew his source, and was not yet filled with their fears, but with a forcefully forgotten faith and wisdom of our Source- how tragic is that!?
    Isn’t that what we here are desiring for ourselves, to be absorbed back into Truth and right ways of being?
    Our feet!- a very integral part to our literal connection to a great and steady healing energy force– If We Allow It.

    Now, regarding our having only two alternatives for our awareness to dwell in, as you say, unless I am not hearing your words correctly, I must interject with we are only a disjointed thing without allowing our mind and body to be wholly (Holy!) united with the Spark we call soul, and a growing sense of a proper balance among the three.
    As I’m seeing it, our triad of mind, body, soul must have a crown, a crown that is in balance and tells no lies!
    I imagine it visually as a hurricane with its calm eye, the eye being the realized balance that comes from wearing the proper crown.
    Anyhow, we are mainly devoting ourselves to our minds and bodies, as your words reflect, with one or the other being the crown- our bellies, or our ego, but where have we left the Critical third, our soul- spark?
    Astounding in the light of seeing it as that all too often missing, critical part should, as I hold it, be present as The Crown, lovingly telling us, in its now found, balanced glory, how to accord ourselves on and of this earth- it’s the one and only gift, I believe, and is that part of ourselves that we lack only if we do not place it their ourselves, as our crown. Voila!
    This is not impossible, or even difficult, in fact it is all of our birthright! – if we are truly thirsting, and if we are willing to make it our singular desire to walk in a glorious, indomitable, Holy state of awareness, giving up earthly excess.
    It saddens me to read with my human mind the words that you say- the journey back into the body is a solitary experience, and no one (human) can hold our hand.
    Our Creator’s hand is literally everywhere at all times waiting for our hands to reach out for His!
    But we are never forced to take it- always a choice.
    We do not ‘luck’ into hell, nor do we ‘luck’ into heaven.
    Both require a bit of effort on Our part, or perhaps,as Taoism holds, a perfect lack of effort- the un- carved block!
    Alas- We are all handed knives and told to ‘Start Hacking’…
    Once upon a time, Your human thirsting for Truth, as I held it to be, in the form of your written thoughts into words, into a book- for me to read… those words of yours let me know that there was another similar, tortured creature reaching out for real food- not just
    for your, but Our starving souls.
    I was, and to some degree at many times still am, a similar tortured soul, not forgetting nor denying my debts, but hopefully to repay them.
    You helped me realize- to see more clearly- that we must be careful when we reach out, for after all, we are mere children, and there are those that will prey on children, so we must protect ourselves as best we might, and not take poison candy from ill intended strangers!
    Thankfully, not all is poison, nor or all monsters.
    Your words those years ago helped me to become this creature of beauty that I see myself as, to help me be more discerning and critical, as there is much distraction and waste.
    Perhaps, my friend, these words of mine can be of value, like yours are to me.
    I recently re-read a book that I’d like to recommend to you, and that is Tolstoi’s ‘ The Kingdom of God is within You ‘.
    Inspired! Inspiring!
    And I’d like to leave you with some more inspired words of an all too unknown origin…

    I calls it as I hears it-
    Echoing down to me,
    From up High, now paper in my
    Soon, perhaps to wash across
    His lands.
    Anything else is just
    bac’ards motion-
    Somethin’ akin to black magic
    That we learned while on our
    daddy’s knee.
    They poked our eyes, and made it
    hard to see
    That we must not don
    their rubber soles,
    That prevent a path
    t’would heal our Soul,
    Of all the lies that cause our
    The Simple path, is it so simple?
    In our pride, we destroyed the
    That, ideally,
    would have stood for
    A place of strength, and healing
    A place from which
    to put forth
    Our Best,
    From which we should have never
    left its hall.
    It now seems, from my position,
    A field to see, with clearer vision,
    Is kindly being tended for the feat.
    A Day is Dawning
    No need for warning-
    we see the storm, as it’s forming,
    Bringing us round, full circle
    Now complete!

    A Love is growing again, and I expect good and wonderful stuff, temporarily forgotten ( or however it was tucked away ) to be remembered, rediscovered!


    • Tip: shorter comments are better if you want to communicate/be received.

      >Your words those years ago helped me to become this creature of beauty that I see myself as, to help me be more discerning and critical, as there is much distraction and waste.

      which words?

  2. Recalling as I read, hearing/learning, perhaps when I was nursing that we develop from the head down and die from the feet up. Birth, we inhale and in death we exhale our breath and our spirit. Coming in with everything and leaving with nothing.

    It’s all the segments in between that we cannot escape and of which we are responsible.
    I believe that most of the bones of our body are in the feet and everyone of them essential. After crushing one and tearing ligaments off of two bones last November I know very well how much work these bones do and without much complaint. I still suffer the odd electrical jab in one of them to this day.

    And then, more importantly there is the question (s) pertaining to the spirit. I’ve pondered that since I was a child and still have no definitive answers. However, listening/reading other people’s views etc. serve to broaden my own notions. Some rabbit trails are delicious so I savor them often.
    Thank you

  3. A most welcome post. It’s always useful to read your recap. I can never recall the events properly let alone give them a meaningful structure.

    As far as I’m concerned, the most profound event that I have ever participated in and the most relevant content that I’ve ever heard.

    “Enlightenment is the path of no merit. No one will reward us for this. The only difference is our quality of life”. Only a deranged mind would want more.

    I occasionally look at photos of monumental buildings, facades and interiors, never quite sure what draws me to them other than the aesthetic appeal and awe at the skills required to build them. Over the years their design started reminding me of hallucinations, hallucinogenic visions. A couple of days ago I concluded that they’re monuments to the ego/mind in their purest forms. Infinitely rich in detail, with complex composition, astounding symmetry and breathtaking interaction between space and structure. However, they are essentially a monument to the mind, a brick and mortar externalisation of itself. In order to build a palace, untold sacrifices are required and yet what is gained. No matter how beautiful any building is, it is artificial and dead in comparison to a river, lake, forest, sea, leaf… Over millennia the mind has strived to build itself a desirable externalised reality, to escape its’ ‘confines’, to escape its’ place. We all live in the world of the consequences of those efforts. The mind is very real, but not as important as it would like to be, an all-conquering force without parallel. It has a serious chip on its shoulder. It’s quite phenomenal how deranged it is, we all individually are. Truly mindboggling.

  4. Interesting Ced; and again I’m prompted to think the issue you refer to here is not because of an inherent inclination of the mind per se but rather that our awareness/attention has become so left-brain dominant. Why this has happened is ultimately a mystery but part of the answer seems to be that the left brain’s affording of a perspective that allows us to break things/concepts etc down to their constituent parts so they can be manipulated/controlled offers such an addictive and self-reinforcing way of being in the world that it has gradually come to dominate over the right brain’s holistic/empathic perspective.
    The idea, I guess, is that, like the journey of zero distance (to the true self), the right brain’s perspective is always there, waiting for us to invite it to the table and balance out our way of being in the world toward equanimity and wholeness (holiness?) ?

    • I’m no longer sure about thr division between the hemispheres but your point makes a lot of sense. The tool becomes the master.

      • “The tool becomes the master”

        Exactly. And my addiction to podcasts and blogs such as this is all part of this left-brain awareness (cowboy mode as Jadun and MJ discussed) unconsciously (/consciously?) grasping for mental models and analysis that will satisfy it and allow it to make itself redundant or just shut the fuck up for a while (quit grasping). But it is like a drug addict, only temporarily satisfied. And the question of making itself redundant echoes the start of the blog post and sending the kid out on an errand…
        shame I missed the meet i will (graspily) look out for the next one…

        • Sidenote: this also puts me in of something else Jasun said in conversation with MJ that (some of) the best conversations for the podcast have been those that are most groping. Ie possibly still in cowboy mode but allowing the fool’s perspective in and trying to articulate that — I would concur and although I see my addiction to podcasts as a symptom of being stuck in cowboy mode that isn’t to say that the content itself isn’t also appealing to my soul and/or right-brain fool’s perspective…

        • I’ve gone cold turkey recently. I’m even behind on the Auticulture podcasts. I’ve scrapped the smartphone, which it makes it a lot easier. I read Jasun’s blogs religiously but have to make an effort to read or listen to other material I enjoy. For me, it’s still the old fashioned addictions. Alas…

  5. In some ways I am reminded here of Strieber’s body-sensing meditation/exercise. I know he is problematic for you, but what would be your take on that?

  6. “…the decades of physical anguish I suffered begins to seem like a blessing in disguise.”
    Feels like something opened in my body reading that.

      • It was an area between my chest and stomach. Trying to put words to it…
        It is a joyful sensation, a relaxed stillness, like all the parts inside,the tissues- just nestled into place. Breath became more pleasurable, more replenishing. And the feeling ripples out to my arms and I get the feeling like I am hugging someone.
        It seems quite permanent to. The words have become part of my inner dialogue and without any effort to make them so.

        • The feeling is not as intense as when I first read it but the permanent sensation is very much something I am aware of. Like when a long down pour of summer rain waters all the plants and they drink it in with …earnestness- and then after the rain, the water is still there in the ground continuing to hydrate.

  7. In the hunter gatherer world (where we spent our ‘evolutionary coming of age’ apparently); we couldn’t afford to not be ’embodied’. If our heads weren’t enthusiastically held up by spines that were eager to support them; taking support from feet and legs that were eager to press into the earth and willing to never take the same step twice, we would have been dangerously vulnerable to missing a vital opportunity or becoming an opportunity for something else. Our awareness couldn’t afford to not keenly immerse in our situation, dissociation would have meant death. That was the majority of our evolutionary education. We have relieved ourselves of the need to engage the world and our bodies don’t get it.

  8. Yeah. Super interesting. My toes nails onMy right foot got infected with fungus at the beginning of a spiral and I was able to cure them 15 years later Coming out of it. Associated leg weakness as well which also went away. Noticed that it was just avoidance. Would subtly use upper areas to generate Momentum and use that instead of my legs. All physical, of course with psychic/social parallels. We are what we are.

  9. It seems like a legit angle… “The Truth Lies Within”… I’m not sure there’s a parallel to what follows, or the possibility of moving awareness from head to body evolving into becoming aware of the life that gives us life, I thought I’d share this regardless; (from; “The human gut, particularly the colon, has the highest recorded microbial density of any known microbial habitat. Our gut is almost the perfect environment to support the biodiversity and complexity that is our gut biome. The temperatures are well regulated, with us, the human host, able to survive in extreme conditions. The host can travel to extreme distances though their lifetime transporting and sharing microbes with these environments. From the perspective of the microbes, we are an almost perfectly evolved life support system for them. Maybe it’s arrogant to think about the microbes as some sort of “little helpers” in our system, but maybe it’s more accurate to think of us as architectural innovations by the microbes.”


Leave a Comment