I came across a great article on the Internet yesterday. I just skimmed it and I need to go back and read it in full, and probably copy down a lot of it. It’s on a site that hasn’t had new content added since 2002, so who knows how much longer the site will be maintained.
Anyway, there was some really powerful food for thought in the article. It was talking about shamans and how they relate to the world. In a nutshell, the author was saying these shamans aren’t accessing some mystical otherworld of spirits, as westerners imagine. They simply are expanding their awareness to encompass all of the elements of their ecosystem.
When something is out of balance in the environment a person will become ill. If the shaman simply heals that person, while the imbalance in the environment is permitted to persist, the illness will simply crop up again in someone else.
This is fascinating stuff. So the illness is simply an expression of the health of the place. It sounds so obvious, but who except shamans recognize that? They’re able to shift from their identity with the little self, into that larger state of consciousness--the bubble of reality around them—a larger self encompassing the totality of the environment.
Last night I was soaking in the tub and had things begin morphing again into objects with a Native American flavor. It occurred to me that these things I see are not exactly Native American in the sense that they only belong to certain tribes of people. I think these things I see are objects that represent the energy of this place. The fact that Native American people have made many of these things means that they were wonderfully attuned to the energy of the place and manifested what wanted to manifest here. Some of the things I see are totally natural objects though, already manifest in the land. My left hand often morphs into the wing of an eagle. I don’t know why, but I guess the spirit or energy of the eagle is particularly representative of this place.
Okay, I just went back online and pulled up the article I came across yesterday. It’s actually an excerpt from a book by David Abram called The Spell of the Sensuous. Now I have yet another book I need to get my hands on!
I’m going to quote it here, because I want to be able to refer back to it. The thing that I think he misses is that we are the larger environment. He understands that the shamans connect with the environment “out there”, but not really that they actually are the environment.
[The quote is too long to reprint here without permission. For now it can still be found online here. The part I quoted consisted of paragraphs 7 through 12.]