The Causes of Soul Loss
There are some obvious causes of the soul part leaving. Traditionally soul loss was said to result from things such as accidents, serious illnesses, shocks and other traumatic events. However, there are other causes too. These may include:
- abuse; not just sexual, but also physical and mental/emotional too
- prolonged anxiety or fear
- loss and grief
- shame and guilt
- prolonged pain
- giving your soul to another; co-dependent relationships
- domination by another person, or a group (everything from peer pressure to religious cults)
- allowing your soul to be stolen by another, or others
- substance abuse and other addictions (allowing your soul to be stolen by the object of the addiction)
- not being true to oneself; disowning or disallowing parts of oneself
Sometimes soul loss occurs when we do not feel safe, say in the case of a traumatic event. Part of us then leaves, as it does not feel it is safe to stay. Sometimes the part is literally shocked out of the body. It may then still be stuck in the time and place of the traumatic event, literally hanging around it like a ghost (this is why people describe flashbacks, or persistent thoughts or images; part of them is literally still stuck back there). Prolonged situations such as fear, guilt or pain can have a similar effect. Part of us eventually leaves because it could no longer cope (we may say we felt part of us died). Sometimes we give our soul (our power) over to a loved one, and when they die or leave, we feel our heart has been wrenched out. Other times somebody (or even a substance like alcohol or drugs) may ‘steal’ our soul, by undermining and gradually overpowering us; dominating us and keeping us in chains and tied to them.
Maybe the most subtle (but no less damaging) cause of soul loss is actually what we do to ourselves. Maybe as a child there was something you were repeatedly told never to do, such as: be angry; or upset; or cry; or be noisy; or clever; or naughty; or answer back; or any number of things. As a child, what are you going to do with that bit of you? If you are repeatedly criticised or rejected, punished or shamed if you do this thing, then in order to survive, you have to block this part of you off. We do this, usually unconsciously, by adopting what is known as an introject (from the Latin intrō = into and iectiōn = throwing), something from somebody else that is thrown into us. So an introject is a ‘should’ or a ‘shouldn’t’, a ‘must’ or a ‘must not’ that we adopt and take on board. Psychotherapists would say that this part is then repressed and then, through the process of therapy, this part can be recovered and reintegrated. However, shamanism says that sometimes something altogether more startling happens. Sometimes that part is not just repressed but actually leaves altogether. The (soul) part literally splits off and goes. In this case, there will be only so far that therapy can go. This is when shamanism comes into its own.