Portals Into the Soul – Preamble
Portals Into the Soul – Preamble

Aviv Shahar

January 26, 2024

Greetings, friend,

Aviv is writing with exciting updates about Portals Into the Soul.

On Christmas Eve, Sunday, December 24, I finally found space to sit down with notes Kyriaki Nikandrou of the Portals team created out of The Ghost and the Inner Conclave conversation with Jeff Vander Clute. We recorded that conversation after a four-day Epoch Journey event in September and it was published in December 2023.

Once a space was created, what transpired on Christmas Eve took my breath away. I will get to what began to open below and describe the Portals Into the Soul work that started to emerge.

I said above “finally” because the last four months of 2023 brought immense intensity and struggle. With committed work and then with the war erupting on October 7, and new commitments that emerged, I experienced the ferocity of a roller-coaster moving at warp speed, which felt like a couple of years squeezed into just a few weeks.

These developments were tracking what we describe in the Epoch Journey as the violet upsurge. I believe the violet increase will accompany us for the coming decade or more. It will continue to be characterized by seemingly out-of-this-world events that will leave little of the late 20th century world order standing. It will also bring profound breakthroughs and opportunities. Both processes are integral to the violet phase-shift.

In the seven-fold Epoch progression, each of the color fractals, including violet, are not “good” nor “bad”. They each represent certain natures of potential and are therefore accompanied by historic and cultural phenomena. Violet represents a catalyst function for transformations that arise at the end of an epoch.

The shift can be experienced both “below” and “above” the line.  “Below the line” violet is expressed through, for example, breakdowns that seem to trace regressive patterns to earlier evolutionary stages, such as with the rise of despotic leaders and the escalation of barbarous wars we thought were left in the past.


“Above the line” violet appears with, for example, scientific and social innovation and development breakthroughs. As we wrote more than three years ago, emergence and emergency, breakthroughs and breakdowns, may show up at the same time, in the same place. In the coming year, we will offer more about the Epoch transition story as it unfolds.

What took my breath away on Christmas Eve was a new open vista that started to emerge. For many years I have trained myself to pay attention when something new is coming through in my contemplative process. When the nudge of a new connective and creative current arrives, my practice is to make space to allow me to become fully immersed in the significance and flow of what is arising.

Letting inspired discovery be my guide has made all the difference. My journey has not been academically fashioned. Instead, it arose in the trenches of life, in the merging integration of helping senior executives and leadership teams in one part; in another part, journeying through an esoteric initiation by immersing in the big questions of life, meaning, purpose, spirituality, and our latent and prospective evolution. All in the face of civilizational crises and imminent disintegration of the world as we have known it.

Helping senior leaders in some of the most admired companies in the world kept me grounded and sharply alert to what is happening in culture, technology, geopolitics, and more. There also has been a humbling aspect in this. I would often be in the room with extremely bright people who are the best in the world in what they do; who know about their domain more than I will ever grasp. I’ve had to find novel ways of creating differentiating, even game-changing, value to them. Where could I find and source this kind of knowhow?

The Homo Universalis Project #1

Girl in a jacket

It was found in the other part of my journey, which centered on an inquiry endeavor to align with perennial truths — the natural laws that shape the universe.

It is a journey that forever connects me to the deepest sense of the sacred and fills me with awe about the mysteries of life, and the incredible valiance and vulnerability in being human. This path brought me to experience immeasurable kindness and the generosity found in friendship and the mutuality of purpose.

The other promise of this adventure was that by orienting and aligning with first principles as an embodied endeavor, rather than a concept, over time it will enable me to parachute into almost any situation, connect with its core dynamics and the people involved, make meaning, and generate pathfinding possibilities. If there is a secret in this, it is that all the domains of life share a set of universal principles at core. The price of admission was to go through the experience, to be vulnerably exposed without having guarantees as to what it was going to catalyze in my formation.

The core impulse of this path has therefore not been theoretical. Instead, it focused on helping teams in the business world, and groups and communities in the spiritual pilgrimage and personal growth and development space, to produce results. For many, these are conflicting spaces. For me, I have lived for decades inside the crucible of this convergence.

The merging integration of these different worlds unlocked gifts I did not even anticipate. They tested me time and again to find and formulate modalities and journey choreographies to help people get from point A to point B. The context and the scenery of what A and B represented changed from one situation to another, but the common thread was that I just could not produce these results with fancy theories or models. Instead, I have had to test on myself first everything I was leading others into. I have had to become the living embodiment and the energetic plasma required to ease others into the journey.

I have found myself in testing situations that brought me to the edge, exposed blind spots and capacity outages, and caused development I would never be able to cause in myself on my own. I figured this was one way to do the development of a dozen lifetimes in one tour of duty. I do not recommend this approach; it is not for the faint of heart. In the Air Force I learned that a landing you can walk away from is a good landing; near misses, humbling moments, and at times extreme stress, exhaustion, and loneliness were simply accompanying elements of this journey.

The other major benefit on this path is that it squeezed me time and again into the unknown, where no maps were available. I have had to work by discovering the map on the move. Stepping into a functional role and facilitating, leading, and coaching others into an unknown terrain helped to syphon and catalyze connective flow, revelation, and fortitude, inspired by inquiries I have been pursuing my entire adult life.


Universalis Project b

soulpre3 On that evening of Christmas Eve, I suddenly relaxed after weeks of intensity and stress. In that space, I experienced a blessed grace. Then, glimpses of Portals Into the Soul started to come together. Chapter 1: The Soul – A Threefold Orchestration, which will be published here on February 23, came through with intensity and flow. A high-level outline for the next chapter followed quickly. Still, there was a tinge of hesitancy. Was I crazy enough to embark on formulating and writing a whole new appreciation of the soul: what it does, how it works, and why this was now an essential revelation to integrate as the Epoch transition is culminating?

Two issues arise when you attempt to approach the subject of the soul and the spirit. The first is the confusion problem. The second is the credibility challenge. The confusion arises in that there are many different usages and applications of the word soul. This is exacerbated even more by the hyper-subjective postmodern mood and discourse, where everyone seems to be entitled to their own definition of what a soul is.

Postmodern thinking may be a gift opening the way for emergent novelty, but it is also a curse, since it breeds confusion and places everything in the equating soup of personal opinion and theory. Google, ChatGPT, and Wikipedia all offer something as bland as the soul is the spiritual or immaterial part of a human being or animal, regarded as immortal. Well, okay; how is that helpful?

Perhaps they will be updating their definitions as we publish the Portals Into the Soul installments, but even then, the confusion problem is not likely to be solved. The confusing muddle is coupled with the credibility challenge, which is driven by reductionist materialist science that says show me the soul, please, in a way that can be reproduced in a repeatable test. If you can’t, the soul doesn’t exist. Before proceeding, therefore, I needed to answer one more question: Where will I find the temerity, where will I gather the chutzpah, to tackle these problems?

If I were going to write Portals Into the Soul to recast what the soul is, what it does, and why you should bother to pay attention, and publish the draft as monthly installments through 2024, I needed to address the chutzpah challenge and the confusion and credibility issues head-on.

universalis project c

The Portals project has proven time and again it is wiser than me. The agreement with the team at the outset was that we will let the project develop us and guide us with its own teleology. As luck or divine intervention would have it, a week before Christmas Eve, we published an end-of-the-year message with the writing An End of an Era & a Post-Guru World. In it we described the three traditional jobs of a guru and reflected on the individuation project, which we suggested is now leading us from planetary Sapiens human to the rise of universal human. This is where we are changing and updating our relationship with power and authority, with each other, and with life itself.

post-guruThe message then reflected on the significance of communal endeavors, where we support each other as we discover our own agentic self-authoring and self-regulating freedom and responsibility.

I have always been suspicious and partly afraid of the guru archetype and model. For a start, there is much that has gone wrong in the guru-student relationships. Second, my intuition for decades has been that our next evolution cannot and will not emerge through solo all-knowing figures. That in fact the breakthroughs we need will emerge by Evolving Together.

I now needed to confront a potential shadow element in this. I asked directly, am I holding back from more fully and freely stepping into the authenticity of the revelatory discovery I feel called to share, so to not be perceived in the historic slot of guru-teacher?

Even though there was a tinge of this worry, having just declared we’ve entered the end of the guru era, I felt absolved and liberated. The Post-Guru World message was not suggesting the time of journey guides and teachers is over. In fact, we need more facilitators, mediators, spiritual sherpas, and midwives of revelatory discovery, truth, healing, beauty, and wisdom. These now often emerge in pods, teams, and communal gatherings, where a mutuality of purpose facilitates healing, development, and evolution; where we liberate each other to our greater and higher capacities, and where multifaceted and distributed leadership increasingly is on the rise.

This has been my experience of the Portals project. There is a growing team here and it is the shared inquiry, mutual respect, and love of the project that fuel the creativity. Much of the new discovery work is siphoned through this mutualized agentic process and the greater learning organism we are becoming. On Christmas Eve, I realized I did not decide to write about the soul. The Portals project decided it for me, and I acquiesced and surrendered.

soul pre

What Portals Into the Soul will bring to life is not an invention of a new “theory” or “model.” The traces formulated here will offer actual pathways you can travel and test for yourself. Please do not take anything I write as a given before you validate these actualities in your own experience.

My own discovery laboratory has been inspired by and is sourced in the deep universal truth of what the case for human life is, in the best ways I have been able to contact these great mysteries through more than four decades of intense development inquiry.

The language formulation used in these Portals Into the Soul can be appreciated through a process like painting, where the painter comes back again and again to the same regions of the picture, to add new layers upon the earlier layers, so the picture gains depth, distinction, and significance.

We approach this work as an on the move discovery process, and are serializing these chapters digitally in draft form as they emerge. The intention is to clarify, refine, and update the writings as the perception itself becomes clearer.

For years, my advisory brief for groups I am working with has offered the following awareness about language. Because our objective is not theorizing but rather facilitating actual experiential discovery, connected development experiences, and elevation states and perceptions, language is an essential tool. At the same time, it is always an after-the-fact best approximation we can get to in the moment.

Whatever we say and write is a) not claiming to be the actual case, but is the nearest description of the case we are able to get to at this time, and b) best viewed as an approximation draft until such time as we are ready to produce a better, more finely tuned, updated draft. In that sense, the project is forever a collective mutualized refinement endeavor.

To help me stay inside the connective current emerging with this endeavor, it is prudent to also declare what Portals Into the Soul will not attempt to do. I am not writing these installments to try to impress or woo you into anything. I am not seeking followers or students; I am financially secure and free.

In the face of increasing global turmoil, I feel compelled to offer discoveries that provide nourishment and fortitude, and to be in conversation with you and with a growing network of friends about the soulful future we yearn to co-create.

As indicated above, I am not seeking to create a new meta-theory of the soul in a way that integrates all that has been said or written about the soul in the East and the West, and/or by wonderful authors of the last 150 years.

This will not be a comparative study about different notions of the soul. That inquiry has its place and importance and is best led by others who are better qualified for such a study. Attempting here a comparative approach would be counterproductive for our endeavor. It would become an exercise of reconciling frames of reference and maps of meaning and predominantly engage the referencing brain. Which is an incredibly useful machinery we have learned to emphasize with the rise of the intellect over the last 400 years and the innovation wonders it brought to us.

The great fascination and love of the brain to reference, name, categorize, and compare, and thereby acquire a sense of control, also created part of the problem humanity now face. It largely abandoned and disenfranchised other forms of knowing and appreciating.

I will address this more concretely in chapter two, where we will reflect on the astrophysicist view of the world and wonder if it has a place for the soul. My aim is to invite you to relax the dominance of the referencing  brain and the reductionist materialist logic most of us raised in the 20th and now the 21st century have been indoctrinated into.

Come along for a discovery odyssey, in which you explore for yourself these portals into the soul and the experiential discovery pathways offered to contact directly the sacred actuality of being human.

soul portal2

I hope there is interest in creating and joining a rare opportunity of embarking on this year-long journey with other like-minded friends who are interested to decode and metabolize this new revelatory work as it emerges. Imagine making this part of your 2024 voyage by participating in a Portals Into the Soul exploration pod.

We are happy to facilitate these soul-inquiry pods coming together. Just let us know here you are interested to join a pod and we will connect you with others.

I am always indebted to incredible mentors and journey friends who offered me guidance and inspiration. I am utterly blessed by many friends, especially the Portals team and the Epoch Journey network who fortify me with courage, kindness, and inspiration as we search and inquire into the evolutionary process underway.

What became the Portals project started in my mind a few weeks after Talia, my granddaughter, was born. I imagined her asking me on her 21st birthday, saba (grandpa in Hebrew), what have you done since I was born to make this world a little better and brighter for me.

As I write this on December 28, 2023, she has had her fourth birthday a couple of months ago, and she now has a younger brother Ari who is nine months young. The entire Portals project is for me a long love letter to them, their contemporaries, and future generations to follow them.

We will put the chapters out for free as they emerge with this dedication and love for their future. I am personally funding the Portals project, which is made possible also through the generous volunteering and labor of love of the Portals team.

Your support makes a difference and we would love to have you as a Portals member so you can get access to members-only content and events, including the groundbreaking work of the Universalis Project. If you appreciate Portals, one great way to express your support and help me is to share Portals with your friends. You are welcome to forward this news about Portals Into the Soul to your network.

I look forward to seeing you at one of our upcoming events.

With care,


Aviv Shahar

Aviv Shahar

Aviv serves as the Portals' sherpa. He curates transformational journeys and is a storyteller of the epochal evolution culminating at this time.

Aviv is the Founder of Aviv Consulting, helping leaders unleash strategic innovation, and is the author of Create New Futures: How Leaders Produce Breakthroughs and Transform the World Through Conversation.

Visit: Aviv Consulting