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This is an ongoing US and global project to help enthusiasts, scholars, practitioners, and curious parties learn more about shamanic living in a contemporary culture. The space here is devoted to sharing info, experiences and opinions about all forms of shamanic expression covering shamanism's multiple permutations. Among subjects explored are traditions, techniques, insights, definitions, events, artists, authors, and creativity. You are invited to draw from your own experiences and contribute.

What is a SHAMAN?

MAYAN: "a technichian of the Holy, a lover of the Sacred." CELTIC: "Empower the people...by changing the way we think." MEXICAN APACHE: "Someone who has simply learned to give freely of themselves..." AUSTRALIAN ABORIGINAL: "...a teacher or healer, a wisdom keeper of knowledge... (who) takes people to a door and encourages them to enter." W. AFRICAN DIAGRA: "views every event in life within a spiritual context." HAWAIIAN: "...human bridges to the spiritual world and its laws and the material world and its trials..." QUECHUA INDIAN: "embodies all experience." AMAZON: "...willing to engage the forces of the Universe...in a beneficial end for self, people, and for life in general."


-- from Travelers, Magicians and Shamans (Danny Paradise)

Friday, September 9, 2011

FIRST CONTACT

An undisturbed tribe of indigenous Amazonians were caught on video this year for the first time to verify their true existence to Brazilian authorities. The rainforest tribespeople were filmed from a helicopter about 1 km away, using cutting-edge camera technology.

The reason for this exercise, according to Jose Carlos Meirelles, of FUNAI (the National Indian Foundation of Brazil), was to preserve the tribe’s lands and culture from loggers and other powerful interests who have plans to develop the land.

The intention of keeping the tribe shielded behind the trees; perfectly preserved inside its own natural bubble of frozen time is important and noble although ultimately futile. Not to sound pessimistic, but it seems unlikely to work for long. Whatever little is left of the world’s mysteries is rapidly being overturned, analyzed, and exploited by the hyperthinkers and doers who want everything figured out and turned into profit. The cost of the damage done is rarely factored and the earth’s natural harmony seems only to warrant fixing under this model.

As humanity looks to explore and conquor more physical space, the most important discoveries left to most of us remain buried away inside the psyche’s deepest wounds and greatest hopes--the inner frontiers, as poet David Whyte might describe them.

Advocates of a modern lifestyle might argue that these “primitives” would benefit from a dose of space-age enlightenment and other scientific and social advancements, which are only accessible to the industrialized person, and that they should be approached and "made better" by our ways.

Guardians of the world’s dying mysteries would say that the simple ways and practices of these people can better help them remain connected with the heart of nature and thereby the natural self, and they should be left alone.

Another cadre of people might believe that in order for both our peoples to survive, their voices and experiences ought to be heard, shared, honored, and integrated into society; for theirs is an essential wisdom that we can learn from; a wisdom that is healing and rapidly disappearing.

I belong to this last group. But the question still begs: should they be left alone? I regret that the answer is 'yes.'

In the end, the essential course of action may be to empower these people from a distance as we would a beautifully mysterious and forgotten version of ourselves that ghosts in and out of view when we sometimes look in the mirror. As you suit up to go to work, consider allowing the inner tribesperson in you to materialize today. It will help you look back at your mind’s camera mounted atop your inner observer’s helicopter with a stronger sense of wonder.

To read an article about the Tribe, visit: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12325690

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