Kris Raphael on 'Soul Urges'
interview with Kris Raphael
Kris Raphael is the author of "Soul Urges," and refers to himself as a 'reality worker'. He maintains that his path of personal growth and spiritual evolution has taken place in 'reality' ( in his day-to\-day life) rather than in a church, monastery or ashram separate from the world. He's a businessman in corporate America, speaks fluent Japanese, and enjoys computer graphics and hiking in the mountains.
Kris shares that he first began to realize the world wasn't what it seemed when he went to Japan. "I had my first knock on the head when I was 19 years old. I had gone to Japan to study. The Japanese culture is very different and their worldview is entirely different than ours. I came to realize that a lot of the way we perceive reality is due to our conditioning from our parents, culture and society."
Kris returned to the U.S. to finish college and returned to Japan to attend graduate school after receiving a scholarship from the Japanese Ministry of Education. While in Japan, he studied cultural anthropology and linguistics. Kris is married and has a daughter who's just entering adolescence. He currently lives in Southern California. To learn more about Kris, visit his website, the Toltec Nagual
Tammie: 1991 appears to be a pivotal year year for you. Could you share a bit with us about the particular "quakes" (events) which led to your embarking on your present journey?
Kris: At the beginning of 1991, I had been married for 13 years, had a nice home, good job and a 6-year-old daughter. My then wife and I rarely argued or had altercations. From the outside looking in, everything looked great. But from the inside looking out, it was entirely different. There was no intimacy with my wife. I cared about her, but didn't really love her. I was deathly afraid of intimacy. I was a hider. I never showed anyone what was really inside of me. My life was very compartmentalized. I had my work friends who knew nothing about my personal friends, many of who knew nothing about my wife and family and so on. I was having extramarital affairs. My marriage was a pretty box that looked nice on the outside, but was empty inside.
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Until 1991, I was very satisfied with the life I had created. But then something started to happen. A voice inside of me started to scream. I suddenly started to get in touch with what I now consider to be my true self. It was writhing in pain and loneliness. By the end of 1991, I had filed for divorce, quit my job, moved, written letters to my friends and family 'confessing' the empty life I had been leading. They didn't take it very well. Shortly after that I collapsed into a near suicidal nervous breakdown. It was the most hellish, painful experience of my life. It lasted for almost a year and I really never fully found my personal power again until about 6 years later.
Tammie: In your new book, "Soul Urges," you describe a soul urge as that which propels us to begin a spiritual path. It sounds like you were experiencing your own soul urges. Can you talk more about soul urges?
Kris: Many reach a point in life where they can no longer ignore deep desires that never go away. I call these deep desires "soul urges". They are our inner calling to our destiny or purpose in life. If you have had, on a deep level, strong desires that have lasted for more than 2 years, chances are these are soul urges. They may go against everything we have built our lives around to this point.
Say, for example, due to the urging of my parents I come to believe that I wanted to be a lawyer. I study hard in law school. I join a reputable firm and work my way up to be a top partner in the firm. I have made it to where I thought I wanted to be. But something keeps bothering me. I have an inner nagging for something else. I have this desire to start cooking. I take some classes and love them. I start cooking for my friends and family. I soon find that I feel very fulfilled when cooking but begin to dread going to the law firm. I thought I wanted to become a lawyer but now I am finding that it really isn't what I want to do. Maybe I just thought I wanted to be a lawyer because that's what my parents wanted me to be. And where does this deep desire to cook come from? It doesn't from my parents or society. It comes from something deep inside. I call this a soul urge.
Soul urges may seem to be 'spiritual', but more times than not they do not seem to be. This is because we have many preconceived notions about what is spiritual. Perhaps living a truly fulfilling life to the fullest is what our soul wants.
Tammie: You also talk about the "Toltec View" of the world. What is the Toltec view?
Kris: The Toltecs view the world as a dream. From the time we are born, we are taught to buy into and believe the 'dream of the planet". The dream of the planet is what mass consciousness believes the world to be. We learn to perceive the dream as being real. It isn't. Through a lineage several thousand years old, Toltecs have developed techniques to shift our perception so that we 'see' the world as a very different place. Doing these techniques, we realize first hand that the world is not as it seems or what we have believed it to be. When I went to Japan, I had some of this realization. I realized that the Japanese perceive the world differently than we do. Neither view is more correct than the other. According to the Toltecs, they are just variations of the dream of the planet. Eventually we want to create our own dream, one of heaven, not hell.
Tammie: You mention that one opportunity leads to another. How has that manifested in your own life?
Kris: I noticed this from the time I was very young. Sometimes I would be afraid to try something new, or make a change. But whenever I did, many new possibilities opened up to me that I didn't even know existed. For example, after graduating from college I didn't know what I wanted to do. I had a friend who worked for the Japanese Consulate in Portland Oregon. He mentioned a scholarship program that the Japanese government was offering. He said that in order to apply I had to take a test at the Consulate. I didn't know much about Japan and wasn't sure I wanted to find out. I really didn't want to take a test I knew nothing about. But for some reason I decided to do it and it changed my life forever.
I call these windows of probabilities. At anytime in our lives there are windows of probabilities that are opening and closing. We may choose to step through a window or not. When we step through a window, we enter a whole new world of probabilities that were impossible for us to see before we walked through the window.
But there is another important factor here. Windows of probabilities come in accordance to our level of personal growth. Sometimes a large window of probability may present itself but we are not 'ready' to go through it.
Tammie: I'm wondering how often pain opens a window of possibility, and what lessons your own pain has taught you?
Kris: Speaking in general, pain is an indication that something is wrong. When I started to feel that awful pain in 1991, it was screaming at me that something was wrong with the way I was living life. I then went through several years of excruciating pain processing through all of the wrong ways I had lived my life to that point. And then I had the work of rebuilding it, which was very painful at first because I had lost all sense of self worth and personal power. It was if I had spent many years building a mansion only to realize that I built it on a shaky foundation. I had to tear it all down and start to rebuild it all over again, but this time on a firm foundation.
Tammie: What would you define your life's purpose to be?
Kris: Simply, I am a reality worker. I work in the dream of the planet, that which most people consider to be reality. For many years, I didn't want to be a reality worker. I didn't want to be in the dream of the planet. I hated it. I have come to realize though that in order for me to show people that there is a way out, that it is possible for them to create their own dream of heaven, I must live in the dream of hell where most people are at. From there, I can show them and help create the path out."
Staff, H. (2008, December 21). Kris Raphael on 'Soul Urges', HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, June 6 from https://www.healthyplace.com/alternative-mental-health/sageplace/kris-raphael-on-soul-urges