The Bones and Breath: A Man's Guide to Eros, the Sacred Masculine, and the Wild Soul

The Bones and Breath: A Man's Guide to Eros, the Sacred Masculine, and the Wild Soul

by L.R. Heartsong



Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781940468167
Publisher: White Cloud Press
Publication date: 11/04/2014
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

L. R. Heartsong is a personal catalyst fusing somatic work with eco-depth psychology, primarily working with men on the marriage of creativity and soul. He is a French-trained chef, an organic beekeeper, and a soul artist. He lives in Kailua, HI.

Read an Excerpt

Eros, Passion, and Soul

The old English farmhouse still feels unfamiliar in the dark, the creak of the floors a different language than others I have learned and since forgotten. Outside, the tranquil, green countryside of Kent stirs to its daily waking in a manner far different than the buzzing urban congestion of London. Rather than cars and the hum of the city, the sounds of suited and booted heels clicking on pavement, here the dawn chorus of birds awakens me each morning. I’ve not heard such a jubilant avian celebration since I dwelt in the windward rainforest of the Big Island of Hawai'i.

After a long night of mysterious dreams, the animated conversations of the neighbor’s flock of tawny chickens and the insistence of a full bladder conspire to wake me. Groggily, I throw back the fluffy bulk of feather comforter, slide from the warm bed, and stumble naked into the bathroom. I’m not yet thinking clearly and without eyeglasses, I am nearly blind. Habitual senses impaired, I remain at the threshold between worlds, a stranger who hovers between waking and dreaming, wondering what is real and not.

13th century poet and Sufi mystic, Jelaluddin Rumi, reaches out to me through time and space in a whisper:
The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill
where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don’t go back to sleep.

I feel the Dreamtime still pulling me as surely as heavy hands upon my shoulders, and fragments of dreams illuminate my mind like streaming meteors. Turning away from the toilet to return to bed, my blurry eyes gaze briefly though the diamond-shaped, leaded glass windows. In the pale grey light, a peach-colored mist drifts across the fields. Beyond the front lawn and along the narrow country lane, the great bare trees, as naked in their winter dreaming as I, stand silhouetted against the slowly lightening sky. All that I can perceive of the hazy dawn world seems draped in an apricot-hued prayer shawl, woven of misty threads of dreams and birdsong.

The bare sentinels stand silently, their branches reaching up into the sky, and I suddenly ‘see’ the graceful beings as spirits cleverly disguised as trees. A thousand, slender fingers fanning out to touch the heavens. In a flash of quiet revelation, I sense them letting go of the dreaming stars and joyfully celebrating the promise of the dawn.

They are singing.

The moment shivers with reverence, infused by a sense of wonder as palpable as the morning’s glowing light. Everything is holy. As the Standing Ones sing their praise, I inhale a tremulous breath of awe and joy as my chest expands with gratitude. Am I dreaming or awake? It doesn’t matter. May I, too, celebrate the promise of this new day as I strive to bring the best of myself to the world and offer something of tangible value.

Isn’t this the challenge and the unwritten opportunity of each morning? Each moment? As the American poet, Mary Oliver, eloquently demands, Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

In my silent reverence, the muted, pastel dawn trembles with possibility and celebration. It is the moment when seeming opposites touch and unite to create something new, something greater than each of them. For a short time Night and Day are joined as lovers, co-creating a unique sense of possibility. The world glows, inspired with the numinous passion of darkness and light.

Dawn offers an aperture to the soul. Like the slight pause between an inhalation and exhale, it is a space of potential. A place where disparate worlds, unspoken potential and dreams all overlap in non-duality. Wholeness.

The door is round and open.

The soul speaks to us in dreams, sharing its own visions and curious images for the waking world where it hopes to sing us awake. It whispers a longing to be embodied rather than denied, remembered rather than forgotten, sung and not silenced. Soul yearns to fulfill its unique role and destiny as creative human potential.

When the Dreamtime retreats and we move blearily and busily into our daylight hours, we either carry our dreams forward or lose and forget them in the mists. So, too, with the waking dream of our precious lives. Each day we have the opportunity to work towards embodying a dream—a life of authentic and soulful meaning—or set it aside amid the noise, distractions and well-spun illusions of the world.

As I return to the warm comfort of my bed in the softly growing light, I reach back towards the already fleeting dream from which I awakened. It is a familiar one that regularly surfaces in slight modifications; sometimes involving a plane, other times it features a boat or train. In every version, however, I am departing to reside in a foreign country but in my rush to catch the flight (or boat), I realize that I must leave my luggage behind. Checking that I have wallet and passport, I decide that these two items will suffice to see me through, and I choose to go on.

The door is round and open.

The dream’s significance and repeated message is not lost upon me. Awake to the morning, listening to the dawn chorus outside the old farmhouse, I won’t be able to get back to sleep now. It doesn’t matter. The day has arrived with a tremulous sense of magic, wonder and awe. Once again I have heard the Song of the World and received a reminder to celebrate the beauty.

Don’t go back to sleep.

In the beginning, only Chaos existed. The ancient Greeks tell us that from the primordial Chaos, five great powers sprang forth: Gaia, the Earth; Tartartus, the Underworld; Erebus, the dark gloom of Tartarus; Nyx, the power of night; and Eros, the primeval power of love. In this primordial eruption of the cosmos, Eros was not a man but a four-headed, mighty and mythic beast, double-sexed and bearing golden wings. Born of the stars, this powerful being embodied the creative force of Nature itself: the light and order of all things.

Eros as this multi-headed and dual-sexed creature is also said to have coupled with its daughter and consort, Nyx (night), and spawned everything in the cosmos. Other pre-Olympian accounts claim that the mating of Chaos and Eros brought the world into being, and thus even the gods owed their existence to this mighty union of primal energies.

In later ages of antiquity as the deities morphed, evolved, and multiplied atop the cloudy heights of Mount Olympus, Eros came to be depicted as the son of beautiful Aphrodite. The goddess and feminine embodiment of love, she held many lovers in her shapely arms, both gods and men. In most Greek myths, Eros’ father is Hermes, swift-footed messenger of the gods, but in others he is the son of Ares, vainglorious god of war. Eros, as a beautiful and alluring divinity, embodied the masculine aspect of love and became a powerful deity in his own right. Sometimes regarded as a male fertility icon, the god of desire personified the energies of lust and intercourse, as well as beauty and love.

The conquering Romans, in their adoption of the Greek pantheon, diminished mighty Eros into a pint-sized, chubby cherub. The handsome and arousing god devolved into the mischievous Cupid, hiding behind clouds to dart unsuspecting souls with his bow and arrows of desire. In this infantile guise, mischievous but charming, Love fades from an elemental force of the Universe, deteriorating from one that can join or break apart the fiery stars to something of mere ego romance.

Further trivialized by our modern culture, Eros turned Cupid is now the stuff of candy valentines, hothouse-grown roses tied with satin ribbon, pop songs and fluffy Hollywood movies.

A multifaceted and misunderstood energy, mighty Eros has been portrayed in many forms but routinely is whittled down to a notion of sexual love. The word erotic, which stems from Eros conjures the following definition:
e·rot·ic (adjective)
1. arousing, or designed to arouse, feelings of sexual desire
2. characterized by or arising out of sexual desire

Diverse, beautiful and powerful as sexuality is, physical eroticism is but one expression of this magnetic force. In a fuller sense, Eros is energetic longing. As such, it is the gravitational allurement that holds the Cosmos while it expands and collapses. The electrical charge that pulls subatomic particles together, it is the essential attraction that builds atoms and ants, molecules and microbes, bones and beasts, binary stars and burgeoning solar systems.

There is also a spiritual element to Eros’ longing, a soulfully creative essence that mirrors and embodies the deep imagination and creative energy of the Cosmos. Indeed, the full, powerful nature of Eros embodies the entwined, golden energies of desire, creative passion and spiritual force. In the Erotic Spiral, each of these energies is inherently imbued with movement, for all energy is movement. Eros as energy unwinds with sensation and motion in the human body, either subtle or animating and forceful. The beckoning of Eros is a tangible, felt sense in the body.

The body is the temple of Eros.

More intrinsic than our rational mind, the energies, sensations and movement of the body are the primal language of allurement, longing and connection. Eros draws us further on the evolutionary journey through our senses, which play a vital role in unlocking and opening us to a deeper sense of connection. Our physical senses are the doorway where we greet the world, and the body is ultimately sensual.
Though the words are often used loosely as interchangeable, sensual is not the same as sexual. Consider that sensual is merely ‘of the senses’: tactile and kinesthetic, visual, auditory, olfactory, and gustatory. It is predominantly through these senses and the nervous system that we experience our material reality. The senses bestow a wealth of stimulation, from pain to pleasure, and because sex tends to be so pleasurable—not to mention intrinsically stimulating to the senses—we have come to equate sensual with sexual.

Embodied, we are deeply sensual. Far more than merely sexual, Eros is a felt connection to the ‘life force’ and passion that arises from the soul. It is movement and sensation, ranging from subtle ripples to powerful waves that can literally rock the body. It is a somatic experience of aliveness and vitality when we are in alignment with our authentic, sensual nature.

Through our senses we know beauty and the soul. We emerge into a multifaceted and deeply layered sense of communion. Belonging. Meaning.

Let us expand the commonly narrow definition of erotic to include something of these embodied, creative, sensual and spiritual energies of mighty Eros. If we seek vitality, soulful passion, wholeness and healing in our lives, the body is a sure guide, for these energies of Eros can be experienced somatically. Sensual, creative, and expansive in bodymind and spirit; these are a few of the determining qualities of the soul on its human adventure.

Table of Contents

A Man’s Guide to Eros, the Sacred Masculine,
and the Wild Soul

Author’s Preface
Introduction: The Erotic Warrior
Eros, Passion and Soul
The Sacred Masculine
Ensouling the Body
Myth, Shadow and Light
Pleasure, Power, Sex and Eros
Wild Soul, Wise Heart
Conclusion: Barefoot on the Earth

The Soul Shaman’s Bag: Tools for Embodied Living
About the Author

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The Bones and Breath: A Man's Guide to Eros, the Sacred Masculine, and the Wild Soul 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
SueMarie More than 1 year ago
L. R. Heartsong, artist, writer, author, French trained chef, light worker, shaman, and utterly wild soul, published a profound 223 page softcover volume, The Bones & Breath, A Man's Guide to Eros, the Sacred Masculine and the Wild Soul, via White Cloud Press. This book is not specifically for men. This book is for all souls in search of themselves, of something more than simply existing. The Bones & Breath is for all humans fully human, yet spiritual, or seeking to simply be. My connection to this book and the author changed my life, solidified my thoughts, enhanced my state of existence and caused me to realize that I am not alone. This volume will touch you deeply, if you allow it to, if are willing to explore this grand stage and promise to stay in a state of absolute awe and wonderment. This book holds your hand, yet guides you. L. R. Heartsong, or River, is prevalent in the fields of bodywork, shamanism, naturopathy, and psychology focusing on progression, self-awareness, authenticity, exploration of the divine, acceptance of the light and dark within self, one another and the universe. He has well over twenty years working professionally in various fields of spirituality and continues to educate himself in order to help others. When I first received this book, I excitedly browsed through the pages. What I found fascinating is the reader is able to stop wherever they please, not following a designed pattern, more so, a creative one. One can start at the beginning and follow River's empathetic story or open any page and begin. This is only one important aspect of this book. The chapters are easy to read, not scientific or medical in nature, and as a student of Western and Eastern Medicine, as well as spirituality, this volume is most useful for all people practicing the healing arts. River's understanding of the human mind, body, and spirit connection is palpable, and his own journey within the pages creates a safe space for the reader to begin or continue upon their own path. The chapters are as follows: Intro: The Erotic Warrior Eros, Passion, and Soul The Sacred Masculine Ensouling the Body Myth, Shadow and Light Pleasure, Power, Sex, and Eros Wild Soul, Wise Heart Conclusion: The White Hart Within each chapter towards the end, are soulful insights, much like skill building, to utilize ways to empower, test and push yourself, lightly, at your own pace. River gently suggests, based upon his life experience and training, ways that you can question your own soul, mind and body to further progress. For example, if one wishes to face the dark within self, at the end of chapter 4, Myth, Shadow, and Light, the author suggests embodying soul skills to explore your inner darkness. The suggestions are merely just that, questions that you can choose to ask yourself and choose to answer. If one wishes to embark, the questions may bring the hidden, to light. As an artist and a student of all forms of healing arts, The Bones & Breath is a most treasured addition to my own continuous quest on this plane. Easy to read, stunning writing bordering on majestic, true to life analogies, 100% real life tried and tested ways of being, this volume simply must be consumed then digested. Written from pure stream of consciousness, The Bones & Breath speaks to the soul. Every chapter involves new ideas, allowing my heart to open wider, my mind to expand, my dark side to
coyotetracks More than 1 year ago
I heard about this book at a men's conference before it was released. I heard the author speak and thought the book sounded interesting, and have been waiting for it to come out. I have to say that the book is much more than I thought it would be. The author has a very good style of writing, very descriptive and poetic but not difficult. I highly recommend this book for anyone who is asking the deeper questions in life, or is looking for direction on what it means to be a conscious man. I thought the stories and the soul skills added a richness to the book, and I found it both thoughtful and inspiring. Will definitely be recommending this to pretty much everyone!