The Beautiful Experience That is the Book Revolution of the Soul, by Seane Corn
The clues needed to solve the question of the very earliest origins of writing have been lost to antiquity. Did writing emerge in one land then spread to other countries and evolve? Or did the great ancient writing systems –Egyptians, Sumerian, Hittite, Indic and Chinese – arise independently?
Many Western scholars believe that an alphabet first appeared among the Hebrews or perhaps Assyrians. Many Hindus proudly maintain that any true scholarly inquiry into the origins of the written word will lead one directly to the Indus valley. Chinese scholars assert that their written characters are the oldest and that which allowed humanity to begin to evolve and build the very foundations of civilization on Earth. This is an interesting yet unsolvable problem that scholars will surely argue over for millennia to come.
One thing is certain though: all ancient writing systems were considered to be a direct manifestation of the Divine – an inherently blessed gift sent to man from the heavens. Writing was held to be speech from the gods with the power to teach the most profound sacred mysteries.
The ancient Egyptians sang praises and created great works of art in honor of the god Thoth, the sacred scribe who taught them writing. They named their script “the divine”. The heavens shook with thunder as Jehovah let his finger engrave his eternal commandments on stone and onto the hearts of the Hebrew people. Chinese legend tells of the dragon-faced wizard, Cangjie, who after studying the secrets of the movements of the stars, the footprints of animals and the divine patterns of Nature, crafted and modelled the Chinese characters in the images of all that he learned. In India, the supreme god Brahma thought the knowledge of letters to be so profoundly sacred, that he himself descended from the heavens to give this divine gift to humanity.
Throughout history man has taken this gift of the written word and created bound volumes that hold awesome amounts of power. Books that dramatically changed the course of history when they first appeared thousands of years ago, still help shape the destiny of humanity today. Books can create and destroy. Literature can manifest whole new realities and act as a fuel to the fire of evolutionary change and creation.
I absolutely love the art of writing and I do believe that I could be considered quite the books fanatic. For nearly 20 years I have read and studied relentlessly inside this wretched cage, letting my mind reach out and explore many realms and a wide range of subject matter. Reading is a sacred addiction for me and I have experienced books as talismans of divine power and tools of mystic awakening. I have encountered books that have completely rearranged my entire mind and made me rethink…EVERYTHING.
Only rarely have I encountered such a book and when I do I feel blessed and I am re-reminded of the divine power of the written word. Recently, I discovered such a book in Revolution of the Soul by Seane Corn. Yoga has been a favorite subject of mine for many years. I have studied stacks of volumes on Yoga but I have never encountered a work like this. The power of the beautiful experience that is her book is just…indescribable. It is about much more than yoga, it is, as the subtitle suggests, a call to Awaken to Love Through Raw Truth, Radical Healing, and Conscious Action.
As I was reading the book, I kept thinking “Seane must have studied Jung… yes, definitely. Then later on she mentions C.G. Jung. As I was finishing the book, I was reminded of some insights John Freeman shared in his introduction to the collection Man and His Symbols by Carl Jung (et al). I could imagine him writing something similar about Seane Corn and her teachings after reading and experiencing her Revolution of the Soul.
Reflecting on these lines in relation to Seane’s work gave me a better depth on insight into the powerful and profound nature of her teaching style. I will quote Freedman at length for this reason and also because anyone interested in teaching and learning, Mind-Body Health, Yoga and other such things may find this thought provoking:
A point I wish to make is about a particular characteristic of argumentative method that is common to all writers in this book –perhaps of all Jungians. Those who have limited themselves to living entirely in the world of the conscious and who reject communication with the unconscious bind themselves by the laws of conscious, formal life. With the infallible (but often meaningless) logic of the algebraic equation, they argue from assumed premises to incontestably deduced conclusions. Jung and his colleagues seem to me (whether they know it or not) to reject the limitations of this method of argument. It is not that they ignore logic, but they appear all the time to be arguing to the unconscious as well as the conscious. Their dialectical method is itself symbolic and often devious. They convince not by means of the narrowly focused spotlight of the syllogism, but by skirting, by repetition, by presenting a recurring view of the same subject seen each time from a slightly different angle – until suddenly the reader who has never been aware of a single, conclusive moment of proof finds that he has unknowingly embraced and taken into himself some wider truth.
Jung’s arguments (and those of his colleagues) spiral upward over his subject like a bird circling a tree. At first, near the ground, it sees only a confusion of leaves and branches. Gradually, as it circles higher and higher, the recurring aspects of the tree form a wholeness and relate to their surroundings. Some readers may find this “spiralling” method of argument obscure or even confusing for a few pages – but not, I think, for long. It is a characteristic of Jung’s method and very soon the reader will find it carrying him on a persuasive and profoundly absorbing journey.
Now after you have read her book –yes, go-go-go, buy it and read it like now! – you can triumphantly yet nonchalantly declare, “So, yeah, I totally know what’s up with the secret of Seane Corn’s super-secret-Shakti O.G. Yoga Goddess transformative and awakening mystic superpowers!” Really, she has achieved a very powerful thing in creating a work of literary art that teaches in such a subtly captivating manner.
Seane utilizes the power of narrative to express profound ideas and concepts and does so in a way that allows them to dance around the subconscious mind… Creating numerous small (and also large) awakening and insights deep within the subconscious, while at the same time directly stimulating the conscious thought process. This is pure brilliance. She does this from the perspective of a deeply dedicated and profoundly devoted perennial student, teacher and High Priestess of Yoga – but she reaches beyond this into a more expansive and all-encompassing realm.
Philosophy, psychology, politics, theology- LIFE! Yes, this book has the power to awaken individual human beings, but in a way that advances the overall healing of humanity. Just now, I went back and re-read the little intro paragraphs, the “Praise[s] for Revolution of the Soul” from various people in the front of the book. A few excerpts that I think captures the power and magic of the book quite well:
“For those of you who are being introduced to Seane’s work for the first time are in for a heart-opening, ass-kicking, and soul-stirring ride. Enjoy every moment. For it will blow your heart wide open and invite you into a movement of inner and outer change that can heal this world toward peace.”
Naomi Watts (actor/producer)
“Revolution of the Soul is worth thousands of dollars of time on the therapist’s couch. Through a powerful framework of lived experience and ancient teachings, Seane illuminates yoga’s medicine to ameliorate suffering and create well-being in mind, body, and to a revolutionized soul. No matter where we are in our awakening, this book is a gift to us all.”
Melanie Moore, Phd (Psychologist).
Indeed, one of the gifts that I gained from Seane’s book is this: I was awakened to a deeper understanding of the teaching power of reflecting on past experiences and human interactions, specifically in relation to my yoga practice. I think that the way Seane analyzes her own experiences – through the lens of yoga – kept subtly making me do the same. It was rather unconscious at first but then I started to shape my post-reading meditation and yoga sessions all around this theme (and others that she discusses). WOW.
Years back when I started discovering the secret of utilizing pranayama (yogic breathing) and asanas (yoga poses) to reduce stress, relax and even heal the mind and body, I did not always attempt to trace the deep underlying causes of these imbalances. Seane talks about how going into psychotherapy helped her admit past trauma but doing yoga helped her access it in ways that years of therapy never could. She presents an engaging narrative of personal experience:
“I work hard with Norman [her psychotherapist] trying to reconcile the events of my childhood and understand the impact of that sexual molestation and harassment has had on my psyche and my life. It takes time, but I eventually became open to healing my trauma. I can finally see how it is connected to my obsessive attachments and patterning and I want more than anything to understand and heal.”
Personal connection. So many people can surely relate to this and Seane shares these stories using a very engaging writing style. A level of understanding. Then she takes it to another level of knowledge and insight and speaks on the biology of trauma:
“Our bodies keep everything we’ve ever repressed locked away in our muscles, joints and cellular tissue… Anything that compromises your experience of safety and security triggers a biochemical reaction, a “danger!” alert… the brain sends a message to the thalamus… passes the information on to the amygdala, which signals to the hypothalamus… The fight-flight-freeze-fold response begins as the sympathetic nervous system goes into high gear, along with the adrenal cortical system activating a whole host of stress hormones, including cortisol, epinephrine –"
And, yeah, with exacting scientific detail, Seane explains how trauma affects the body and how its residue becomes a part of our history. A deeper level of understanding… As I was reading this I was reflecting on how these concepts and ideas relate to my history, life experiences, others I’ve known, society as a while… Then she brings it all together and casts her High Priestess of Yoga spell of awakening in explaining the role yoga plays:
“Remember, trauma experts say that we must employ the mind and the body in order to release tension and heal from trauma. Yoga as a body-based meditation practice, does that… Without yoga or other trauma-informed practices to help us feel whole again, we have no self-awareness, no self-love; without self-understanding there can be no collective understanding, no sense of union with ourselves, body and mind. This is the work of yoga. This is the revolution of the soul. This is the pathway to freedom.”
Wow! And her writing on trauma only comprises a small part of the entire book. Just that one part took me on a soul journey. The entire book is like this – and ha! I just laughed thinking, “yeah, I totally do not know what is up with Seane Corn’s super-secret Shakti O.G. Yoga Goddess transformative and awakening mystic superpowers!”, realizing that I cannot even begin to properly describe and explain this. Read the book and you will understand. I know this though: for over a decade I have studied stacks of books on the philosophy and science of yoga, from both ancient sages and more modern writers. Never before has a book affected me like Revolution of the Soul.
I have been over here re-examining my understanding and practice of all aspects of The 8 Limbs of Yoga in relation to Seane’s teaching. She gets into all of the classic yogic concepts – Ahimsa, Satya, Asteya, Brahmacharya, etc – and so very much more. I do not know if Seane Corn has been hanging around the god Thoth or the dragon-faced wizard Cangjie, but this beautiful experience that is her book, Revolution of the Soul, is a blessed gift of writing absolutely filled with powerfully transformative sacred teachings (that apply to modern life).
More than anything, I think Seane’s book has made me re-remember and more deeply internalize that, as she says: yoga is now. It’s in every experience, all beings, the rising of the sun, the shifting of the tides, the birth and death and every funky, wild, and weird moment in between… This is the revolution of the soul. It is a process of personal evolution, opening our heart to collective love, that catapults us directly into conscious, compassionate action for the good of all.
Now. Right now. Every single day. Remember and re-remember this. It is a process and an ever-evolving lifelong journey. Always be open to new awakenings and radical healing. Constantly strive towards conscious and mindful action in all things and stay on the Path. Live it. We all can.
Just as I finished writing the above, I got stuck in the shower for a very long time. I worked out hard right after I woke up and had been up all night writing. Exhaustion. Frustration. Stop. Catch that feeling. Remain present. Ah, sneaky little tension in my body. Calf muscles tight. Biofeedback. Pranayama… and the tension releases…
Silly to be frustrated by something that I cannot control, isn’t it? Yes. Instead of pointless frustration, let me stretch out this tension… Back in my cage now. I was stuck in the shower because – as I just heard the C.O.s talking about – a guy started hacking at his flesh with a razor, slicing himself up. They had to gas him, roll his door and drag him off to medical. Blood everywhere… And he is dead. He died. A guy on this building just now engaged in self-mutilation to the point of committing suicide…
I have always been a very empathic and sympathetic person. This was very hard growing up and can still be hard at times like this… I start to be consumed with thoughts about the guy who just now died. Feeling a deep despair…
Why? Did he not have anyone around him to talk to? Did he have family and friends on the outside who were in his life? Fuck, I hope some sadistic guard didn’t target him and specifically push him to suicide. That happened before on this building. Why the extreme self-mutilation? God, I must try to stop envisioning that horror! – it is making me physically cringe! Spiralling dark thoughts…
STOP! Be present. Remember what Seane teaches about stress and the body. Yoga is now. Relax. Breathe. Can there be any lesson beyond this personal reminder to live yoga even when faced with horrors that cause such strong physiological reactions? Breathe. Reflect…
Oppressive policies within the criminal justice system can kill. Solitary confinement can kill. I cannot even count the number of people who have committed suicide on this building since I have been here. Hundreds more have been executed. Terror after terror after terror. Horror after horror after horror. Year after year after year. That is the raw truth of this environment. I can bear witness and give insight into this obscure and depraved realm of our society, The horrible self-mutilation suicide that just occurred is yet another harsh reminder to keep fighting and never give up.