SOTO - The School of the Origins - leads us to experience firsthand the encounter between the mystical voice and that of rational knowledge. Using experiences of expressive creativity and practices that involve both mind and body, we weave an intimate and personal relationship with the Intelligences of Nature.
SOTO highlights the bridges between disciplines which we have been taught are opposed to each other, such as physics, biology and chemistry versus mysticism, religion and philosophy.
Instead each is a lens to know, live and appreciate nature from different points of view.
SOTO invites us to respect the scientific method which when applied with integrity, helps us to see and rejoice in the mechanisms and laws that govern the functioning of nature, and that is always ready to adapt to new discoveries and retrace its steps. This is the voice of the linear mind, of the left side of the brain evolving into an understanding of the physical reality of the world.
Mysticism is moved by the same desire for discovery but directed towards the transcendent and the mystery. It expresses the yearning to reunite with Source, and celebrates the knowledge that comes from the heart. It is the voice of intuition, dreams, and visions emanating from the right hemisphere of the brain and evolving into the acceptance of unknowing, transience, and inevitability.
The path of SOTO is pervaded by both. SOTO is not a religion but a very personalized and unorthodox path to recognizing and experiencing the unifying of these ways of knowing.
Those who participate in SOTO's programs often share religious experiences, mystical experiences, and feelings of reverence, respect, and love for the encounters that the practices invite.
SOTO's path does not impose a series of "truths" from the outside. It does not claim to direct creativity and experience in one particular path. But rather, it offers those who are open to receiving them, tools and methods to experience firsthand a connection with nature and the invisible, and invites the unfolding of their own vision of the world.
SOTO is NOT only a philosophy because, despite having philosophical foundations, it does not stop at the theoretical level, but is based on direct experience and doing. The descriptions and symbolic connections between the expressions of nature and their teachings follow a logical thread inspired by the ancient wisdom that has been transmitted to us, and confirmed by individual experiences in the present moment.
The path of the school invite us to "come home" to integrate the teachings we receive, and to "digest" them by verifying them through what is revealed to us in creativity and visioning. This invites us to create a bridge between theory, observation and experience that speaks our language in harmony with the symphony of nature. SOTO rests on 4 paths or pillars.
Rational Intelligence is the acquisition and application of knowledge and skills and the use of reason and linear thinking in a useful and creative way, thus nourishing critical capacity and pragmatism.
Creativity is the purposeful use of space and time dedicated to exploring imagination and intuition to generate tangible expressions of our path, its discoveries and doubts, through any vehicle available (writing, movement, sound, applied arts, etc.). Every form of creativity is a vehicle to anchor what has been received and learned, and to deepen the exploration in a personal, authentic and unique way.
Visioning is the ability and power to see beyond the surface of matter penetrating into the energetic, archetypal and spiritual dimensions of being and creation, through a profound opening of mind, heart and soul, guided by dreams and by accessing altered states of consciousness.
Transmission is the exquisitely personal discovery of how to receive organically and without force, intuitive information and wisdom. Such information is then filtered through our subjective experience and made as transparent as possible, then communicated in the most organic way. We all transmit often without being aware of it. This natural gift can be cultivated and developed.
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