Photo by Tommy Lisbin on Unsplash


Steve Thorp
21st century soul
Published in
3 min readSep 14, 2022



To imagine beautiful is hard. The contexts are set against us — or we are set against the contexts; either and both — they bring us to the same place.

Some humans are imagining beauty right now; creating little utopias of spiritual privilege, with loops of meaning that continually return to ideas of sovereignty and freedom, and the erroneous belief that we create our own reality with the stories we tell.

Myths are instructive; but when we construct our own, fashioning them from spiritual half-truths and appropriated indigeniety, we run into trouble. Fantasy is not imagination, and beautiful fantasies fall away.

Spirituality has had a gift to give us; a reminder of the gentle heart in each of us, a common core we choose to live by, but the beauty we see and create is not manifest; it rises from an earth claggy with unlikely potential, and is moulded — organised — in systems of unbelievable complexity.

The beautiful thing we call ‘nature’ is what we struggle within and often against. It is indifferent to the helpless, ingenious creatures it has evolved.

In truth, there is nothing we can return to. No indigenous golden age. No promise of higher transformation. No pristine, benevolent Gaia. No universe that has our back.

Indigenous stories are stories of survival and creation, like all our human tales. We tell them — the sun rises. We tell them — the sun sets. And all the while we tear and dig and manipulate and exploit and struggle within and with nature.

Nature is lovely; its shapes and sounds, stars and mysteries are pleasing to us — when its fire and ice, radiation and microbiology are not killing us.

It is home. We evolved within its systems. We were born here, but it is time to kill off Mother Nature, and Father God, and all their derivations of spirit and fantasy. For the true soul is in the surplus — in the place beyond which human survival and comfort have been wrought from the earth.

The soul is in the ground and the mystery is in the sky, and though we may sometimes nestle in the simulacrum of an embrace, this feeling comes inside from human yearning.

There is no ‘story of separation’, or interbeing.

Nothing is sacred (for to name the sacred is to exclude the beauty of the profane).

Nothing is foretold.

We are not the ones we have been waiting for.

Imagine beautiful and we can see that the soul is mirrored in the ways we are organised; in the ways we recognise that reaching out across the fear of meaning into the stuff of praxis is the only way for the hidden to become emergent.

Paying attention to the ways words describe us and hope is easily exploited is the beginning of the way — a path into the beautiful unknown.



Steve Thorp
21st century soul

Integral counsellor & poet. Warm Data host. Edits Unpsychology Magazine & COVID Poetics on Medium.