Sorting for the Soul

In the ancient Greek Myth, in order for Psyche to be reunited with her love Eros, her first task is to sort mountains of various seeds, beans and grains (corn, poppy, barley, lentils, etc) by morning. She accomplishes this impossible task through the help of ants. 

Sorting is an important task to create new spaces in our inner life. However, unlike what we can see in our closets – internally we may not be aware of what we are holding onto unconsciously and how it is shaping our lives. 

The task of sorting and resorting our ideas, beliefs, values and mindsets is a natural psychological process as we develop. Our internal organization and reorganization plays a huge role in how we continuously mature, as evidenced in adult development (Kegan, Cook-Greuter, Torbert, Wilber etc.) and Pepper’s paradigms of Human Development. 

Sorting is different from prioritizing. It is the process of examining and differentiating what is often tangled and where we can start to be selective to create new possibilities. Internal sorting involves noticing body/sensation, emotion, beliefs and stories and peering at what parts of our compromises remain in the shadow. 

Sorting Reflection: 

1. Imagine there is a bookshelf in your internal closet. What would some of the titles of the books be? More importantly, who are the authors of the books? 

2. What do you think the ants represent in Psyche’s story?