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)

Monday, October 3, 2011

September 11th's Inner World Influence

Here are excerpts of my edited article about the ongoing influence of the most influential tragedy of our age: 9/11. The full edit can be found on Margot Anand's Blog and the longer version was published in Europe's NewsVoice.

To me, the shamanic elements are clear in that 9/11shows how persons and societies may generate stories that justify behaviors, that can keep us bound to the past. Throughout life we are challenged to let go of stories that inhibit our personal growth, but the stories that rule the collective subconscious are the most difficult to release and can be the most damaging:

We each recall the stark images of planes flying into sky scrapers; the heroism, the villainy, the suffering, the imagination slipping into what it could have been like for the senses to experience the fire, smoke, and collapsing rubble. Every society has versions of its own 9/11 and Ground Zero.

Are We Stuck in a Story?
On the personal side, I believe that if such tragic forces are not converted into platforms for conscious awakening and compassion, they will soon become a heavyweight distraction.

In their book, “Spontaneous Evolution,” American scientist, Bruce Lipton, and political scientist, Steve Bareman, discuss the limitations and sabotaging influences of the collective subconscious experience, “We are storymaking creatures…in order to make meaning of the world, we create stories”—

The urge for victims of violence is to instead develop a story that creates a self-serving struggle between good and evil, right and wrong, hero and villain. Yet Lipton and Bareman and others like Eckhart Tolle remind us that we are meant to move beyond our stories. Why?

If a person is to transform and awaken to their gifts, then it becomes nearly impossible to do so when still clinging to a recurring cycle of past hurts and injustices.

when it gets in the way of identifying with a positive meaning in a big-picture context, then it can be hypnotizing to allow cultural belief to dominate our lives.

Bare explains in more detail, “We often find people who have a wound, or an affliction, or problem. And their entire lives become about this problem and then to let go of that problem they would lose all of the meaning in their lives. This gets played out in cultures…Each time one side does something bad to the other side, that enhances the story and it builds the story one more storey high.”
Dropping the Story to Celebrate Life
After 9/11, “national security” arguably became the dominant political and cultural story in the US and many parts of the world, and the values of strength and valor against terror (as well as their ugly shadows) took center stage.
If you still think that it’s worthwhile to cling to the shared experience of those violent images from 9/11, consider Lipton and Bareman’s rationale that it empowers our conscious capacity to participate in the world when beliefs that are limiting are reprogrammed.

This way the heavy coat of armor that preserves the ego from fear of violence can be replaced with a radiant mirror reflection of a responsible vibrant and more complete being; free to avoid storybook dramas that come and go in life.

No comments: