Do you believe that you even have a soul? If so, where does it
What does your soul look like? Do you listen to what your soul says to
you? What are the desires of your soul? Do you have the inner eyes and hearing to make the invisible visible?
Our soul speaks to us in a secret language. We'll be looking at that
language. When we open up and recognize and acknowledge the beauty of our soul, the whole world changes before us. The world becomes more beautiful, we have a sense of purpose and deeper connection to living. I am so blessed today to be surrounded by powerful images of soul (referring to Paul's pictures).
There is a blessing chant that says:
Beauty above me.
Beauty below me.
Beauty in front of me.
Beauty behind me.
Beauty on my right.
Beauty on my left.
In beauty I walk the pollen path.
Today we are going to walk the pollen path. The images that surround me
and that you saw in the opening are painted by soul artist Paul
Heussenstamm. Paul has a gift for making the invisible visible.
He also helps teach people how to get in touch with and understand the
images of their own soul. He is a fourth generation artist as well as
having a degree in Fine Arts. My guess is that he didn't learn what he
does in school. He has tapped into a creative resource that helps him
understand the language of each of our souls.
When he does a personal soul mandala, he says he jumps into the flow of
the individual soul and he creates these spectacular images. He is here
today to share with us how we can create for ourselves the inner eyes
and inner hearing so that we can begin to hear and see that which is not
visible. By using these paintings today, which he brought with him, we
will begin to be able to see with those inner eyes.
SG:Paul, what is a soul mandala?
PH: Before we get to the soul mandala, we have to talk a little bit
about the soul. All of us believe that we have a soul. We have faith
in it. Do we really understand how the soul is part of our lives?
This is what I have dedicated my life to, and what I have discovered in
the mandala as a way to see the soul, experience the soul, and create a
direct relationship with your own soul.
In my life, I left a 27 year career to pursue this. Nothing is as
valuable as the relationship I have discovered with my own soul. That
is what these paintings are about - the soul and its language.
SG: You also have an incredible talent, Paul, to help everyone around
you tap into their own language of the soul. You helped me tap into
some very powerful archetypes within my own soul, so how do you do
that? What is it that you do that helps people uncover their own soul?
PH: First of all you have to be aware that there is a soul that lives
in you and it is active in your life. How do you begin to see its
When I first started painting mandalas, I didn't know any of this. This
is all self-taught, all self-discovery. My workshops teach people what
I am sharing today. I began to see things I couldn't see. I began
feeling things I couldn't feel. My awareness expanded greatly.
It started when I was first painting and then looking at people. I began to see that there is a whole invisible world that we in the West don't see. If you study Aborigines, Native Americans, Tibetan cultures, they know this language; we don't. We are learning it. We don't have soul teachers in this culture. I began to feel and see the "soul" in painting and then began to see it in people. The soul does not work in the same realm that we work in. We have to understand its language. What do I mean by that?
We live in a world of time and space, day to day, and where everything
is linear and logical. I am me and you are you , and we have time and
all that. That is not the soul world.
The soul sees differently. These eyes weren't seeing it; it was some
other eyes. The soul I have discovered in my experience is in the body,
it's in the earth, it's in the mother. When I began, it was as though
other eyes opened up. In Tibetan painting, they put other eyes in other
places rather than just on the forehead. When I begin to look at someone, when I begin to feel the soul, it's other eyes that begin to see.
SG: Can you tell us more about those other eyes? Also, how do we begin
to develop those other eyes?
PH: The key is to find some way to access the soul. I am sure there
are many ways . There are vision quests. Some people take drugs, and I
don't recommend that way. The mandala is a portal, a door, an entry
point, a way to get into the soul and reveal its language. It is one thing to have me talk about it and a whole other to have your own soul speak to you. The way to contact the soul is to begin to learn its language. And as we learn this language, we begin to see the living soul or what I see as the Divine.
How do we open up that door? The mandala for me opened up the door to
reveal, clearly, the language of the inner soul in myself and in others. My creative work is about revealing this language.
SG: I wonder if we can talk about one painting? Perhaps you could walk
through the language of the painting and how it reveals the soul.
PH: When I begin to read somebody, if you asked me to read you, I would
begin to open up my soul eyes. An example is that I first see you there
and me here. When I begin to read you, I see the surface reality, the way you are dressed, the way I am dressed. I am a man and you are a woman. This surface reality is where Western people live. The soul does not see the same way. You have to get a little out of your mind. The soul doesn't know you are sitting there and I am sitting here.
Have you ever gone to a movie and the movie become a reality, you canÕt
distinguish that it is separate from yourself, like you are in the movie. There is no separation; it's the same kind of thing.
The soul looks and it does not see you as separated. There is an old
teaching that WE ARE ONE. We hear that! How do you experience that?
How can you see the world connected? You cannot possibly do that
without the soul.
As I begin to look at you, and begin dropping down out of my mind, where
this linear, logical time is, the soul sees you and feels you at other levels. The soul has resources that we do not have.
Everything you see comes from the inside out. EVERYTHING. The soul
sees from the inside out. I am not seeing that you are wearing a dress
when I look at you from a soul level. The soul cannot think, "She is
wearing a dress". That is not its realm.
It begins to feel the color purple; it begins to feel the flowers.
When you look at someone wearing a flowered dress, it is the same as
looking at a flowered field.
When I look at your red lipstick, part of me does not know that you are
sitting there and I am sitting here, that it is red lipstick; it is feeling the mystery. I mean when you put red lipstick next to anything, it draws a response especially in men. The soul is beginning to feel at a deep level.
SG: What I am hearing you say is that the soul's eyes do not see any
separation. It's also no about the material world. It's about seeing patterns.
PH: There is no separation. Right!
We have all heard: Be Here Now. Ram Dass' book.
When you begin to do soul work, you begin to see the soul in the "present". The "now". For example, the soul dressed you and created your hair; the soul does the lipstick, and the earrings. You would say that doesn't make sense. This afternoon I dressed myself. That is the surface mind in time and space. It sees everything as logical; the soul doesn't have anything to do with that kind of thinking. The soul begins to feel you as You at this moment...Always!
The colors, the clothes, are you up on the surface; the lips are you connections with your passion, with your lower chakras. The way your
hair is brushed is a response at a very core level as to what is manifested as soul. The response to what you are carrying, revealing at a very core level, is that you are manifesting soul patterns in time and space.
If you were to look at a great painting, say John Singer Sargent, look
at a Van Gogh portrait, the only way you would ever do a great portrait
like that would be to feel the soul in the person. And it is really the
soul in yourself that you are seeing in them. It's your soul until you
get there, and then it becomes OUR SOUL.
You know the prayer, Namaste! It means you are in that place in you,
and I am in that place in me, there is only one of us! That is what I
experience. I experience it all the time.
SG: Do you have to do anything special? I am hearing you say that you
live in this experience. How do you get through the practical, material
world if you are in the soul experience?
PH: This is a great question. This is exactly what my workshop is all
about. this is really what my paintings are about. How do you get
people from here (the mind) to their hearts, because the heart has eyes,
feels, sees and can make decisions. The heart is very feminine whereas
the surface mind, I feel, is very masculine.
How do you get someone down to their heart? How do you show somebody
the world through their heart? Carlos Castenada said it does not matter
what path you take in life as long as your heart is involved. To check
this, would you do what you do for free? For no money? If you would do
what yo do for free, the heart is involved. If not, then it would be
involved some place else.
SG: I need to clarify something. I am a romantic as well. When you talk about the heart, I say Yes, Yes! What about the head? The practical side? How do we integrate both?
PH: I am not putting down the head. It's magic. It discriminates. It's a miracle. There are trillions of cells going off in my mind just to see you...trillions and trillions! I still use the head, somewhat, as you have to have something to access it. Some people meditate for hours and hours, other do dreams, other people play drums, some dance, some go to monasteries, some people go on trips to Machu Picchu or the great pyramids. You have to somehow, some way access something in you, and get a deeper connection with your life. For me it was the mandala and the act of being creative that took me into a place where I began to "see", and this is what I teach.
SG: So what you are really talking about is how do I awaken!
SG: How do we live in a more awakened, conscious, alive life?
PH: Get to know your soul. If you live in surface reality, and our society is based on this, you are basically living in one color of the rainbow. All the other colors exist, but if you are in that one color, you think that is all that really exists.
If everything comes from the inside out, if I turn on a radio there would be 2-3-4-500 stations. If a radio exists, we are the same way. So my work is to take someone who is operating on regular channels to other parts of themselves so they can access deeper resources that are already in each individual.
SG: Paul, I am wondering if you can help us open up to the soul of your
images. The paintings are so beautiful that I want to share them with
others. Do you want to start that with the one behind us?
PH: Yes. For me, it was the mandala and that is what I share with others. Focus in on the center. It was not specifically done for anyone. It came from a vision I had. The Tibetans say that a mandala is an eye of God, eye of the Goddess. It is a deity.
>From a Western point of view, from surface reality, it is just a painting with a center. From a soul level you have a chance to see inside yourself. Soul does not separate. When you look at a mandala, you have a chance to see a vast universe inside yourself. The soul does not see the exterior as separate.
Have you ever been driving down the freeway and all of a sudden you pull
over and 30 miles later ask, "How did I get here?" Somethings else that
is always a part of us got us there.
When I teach workshops, I look around the circle and say "Did you know
that we are all lottery winners?" Everyone in this room won the lottery. Just to start life you had a one in 300 million chance. Every day you have 50,000 heart beats, 25,000 breaths, a trillion cells going off in a dream, 40,00 nerve endings in your feet giving you information.
When you feel soul, life is so much richer; life is so much deeper.
The painting give you an area to focus on. There's a technique called
Trepasso from the East where you study the eyes, and you begin to look
at those eyes. You also begin to look at the rest of the painting with
your peripheral vision. You begin to see things; see things you have
never seen before. Focus on the eyes, and the colors expand, the
picture breathes, pulses, dances, spirals. The mandala teaches you
about forces. The soul is all about these forces.
I began to see a world that I had never before seen. It has changed my
SG: Paul, part of your gift is to take those diverse forces and
integrate them into a whole, which is exactly what a mandala is.
PH: That is exactly what a mandala is.
As an example, if someone took a drug, they would be thrown into a
world, and they would say they are hallucinating. That is dangerous.
The mandala is a much safer way to enter the soul's realm.
SG: My question is, if someone wants to start creating these soul eyes,
and your art immediately does that very powerfully for me, how does one
become more enlivened? And, at the same time protect yourself as you
are going to be walking around life as a nerve ending?
PH: That's right. Wisdom. In the last 25 years, since 1950-1960,
there are many paths that have come forward, and teachers who share
Wisdom is something that you experience as real, now. It's not about
books, people who lived 1,000 years ago. It's about what you experience
now as your own truth. Your own wisdom.
I know there are many ways, and what has worked for me and worked for
others. This is what I teach: How to get in touch with your own soul
through the mandala. How do we slice through ourselves? Like slicing
through a tree, or slicing a fruit, youÕll see an incredible mandala in
everything. It's in us. I teach how to create a mandala. How to
really let the soul create it.
Then you begin the process of self-learning, self-discovery. Seeing.
The artist Claude Monet, an incredible painter of forces, said that you
have to have something that tutors your eyes. We live through our eyes.
When you start staring at the center of painting, when I make a soul
painting for someone, it gives them an access door - something they can
begin to see more of reality.
SG: We have an audience now, sitting and watching us, and can you share
how do I create a soul mandala? What can you say to them?
PH: This is exactly the reason I leave my studio and why I teach. I
enjoy seeing someone else create their own mandala, and what that says
and the language. What that says, from the moment you pick up a brush,
you become a magician. Look at the great museums that have been built
around artists. From the moment you pick up that brush there is the
possibility of something activating in you. It becomes eternal. You
hear about the soulÕs nature as eternal. You see that when you go to a
museum. The museum is the mystery of eternity.
SG: One way to open that door to the soul is to go to a local museum
and start looking at the art. Not just as, "Oh what a pretty picture,"
but sit and stare and look at the center and allow it to unfold. To
allow the artist of the soul to come through.
PH: Every few months, we have a museum tour and I take groups to a
museum. Recently, we looked at a painting of Van Gogh's mother. She is
alive in that painting. A surface eye would see a beautiful painting,
but the soul would see his mother alive, breathing, eternally there,
Basically, what we are doing is a Trepasso technique and to look at the
symbols in a painting. There are many symbols. There are more in a
painting than you think. Let me give you an example: When you
understand the connectedness of the world, which is soul, look at the
palm of your hand, and the lines on your hand.
All your ancestors are in your hand. It is something much deeper that
begins to awaken. So when we become creative, we paint, we draw, we
work with color, and that is the beginning of the potential of the
Right in front of our very eyes, you see. It is what art is, straight from the heart. Emil Zola said that the true artist paints with his own heart's blood. In other words, from the heart comes the blood and the blood flows onto the canvas. It''s your own soul, own Self. Recognize that the painting is not separated from yourself.
SG: Another aspect, before we become these fantastic artists, our
dreams can also create that mandala for us.
PH: That's a key point. I know. I was a president of a corporation for many years. When I began to paint, my life changed radically. The soul has many languages. Our body has many languages, our hair has many languages, our clothing has many languages, our jewelry has many languages, and if you listen to the Hopis talk, they teach that all our ancestors are living within us! That does not make sense to the Western mind. See and feel them in your work, that is soul.
SG: How do we access it? Can we, in our day-to-day life, access soul?
PH: That is a great question. That's why I left my past career. You have to have a place in your home, a place where you can begin to make the journey of your own soul. You can create an altar. What is an altar? An altar is a place where you go and ask for things from a deeper source within yourself. An altar can simply be a flower, a scarf, a candle, a picture of your mother, your children, grandfather. It can get very elaborate. I have one in each of my rooms. It means that you are beginning to have a relationship with something sacred. And this is one of the ways to begin to understand that we have a sacred relationship with our soul.