Consciousness, our soul, the Holy Spirit, on both the individual and the shared levels, has sadly become unconscious! No wonder some call the Holy Spirit the “missing person of the Blessed Trinity.” No wonder we try to fill this radical disconnectedness with various addictions. There is much evidence that so-called “primitive” people were more in touch with this inner Spirit than many of us are. British philosopher and poet Owen Barfield (1898–1997) called it “original participation” and many ancient peoples seem to have lived in daily connection with the soulful level of everything—trees, air, the elements, animals, the earth itself, along with the sun, moon, and stars. These were all “brother” and “sister,” just as St. Francis would later name them. Everything had “soul.” Spirituality could be taken seriously and even came naturally. Most of us no longer enjoy this consciousness in our world. It is a disenchanted and lonely universe for most of us. We even speak of the “collective unconscious,” which now takes on a whole new meaning. We really are disconnected from one another, and thereby unconscious. Yet, religion’s main job is to reconnect us (re-ligio) to the Whole, to ourselves, and to one another—and thus heal us. We have not been doing our job very well.
—from the book Breathing Under Water: Spirituality and the Twelve Steps
by Richard Rohr