shamanic.vision

An obligation is a strong duty. To every spirit, I have an obligation. To every person who comes to me in need, I have an obligation. To everyone I agree to help, I have an obligation. To myself…I have an obligation. While I have many obligations to all things, I want to focus at this moment on obligations to self:

  • It is my obligation to myself to enjoy my life and to learn about anything that interests me. 
  • It is my obligation to be true to myself and allow my thoughts and spirit to always remain free. 
  • It is my obligation to be steadfast when I want, to bend in the wind when I want, to be contrary when I want and to agree with everything I want. 
  • I am part of the planet, part of the spirit realm, part of the universe. I do not attempt to deny anyone the comforts they desire and this includes myself. My life as this person is short. To not live it to the fullest, to deny myself any experiences (some pleasurable, some sorrowful) is to squander a great gift. The world of physical perception is fleeting and it is my obligation to myself to live it without regret.

For me, my obligations are the tenets by which I live. They are all simple, common sense things really, like “do as little as I can to disturb nature when I hike and camp in the great forests”. They are always focused on being true to spirit as I know it. They are not always moral however.

I’m definitely not a new-age type guy. If something feels pretentious to me, I will discard it. If I think something is bullshit, I will call it like I see it. Later on, if I change my mind, I’ll do that, too. I’m carnal, primal and enjoy sensual pleasures without guilt. These are just examples of my own path.

A shaman doesn’t have to be all zen and emotionless. I’m not a spiritual guru sitting on the top of a mountain waiting for people to partake of my wisdom. Wisdom is a benefit of experience. Just experience as much as you can and you will have wisdom. Sometimes, we should be foolish, anyway. Learning by mistakes is a time honored tradition, too!

I can get angry, I can get sad, I can feel joy and rage and remorse. These are things I am here to experience. If I try and be “above all that” I’m simply denying myself the benefit of all that.

So, if you take only one thing from this, I hope it is that you choose to open yourself up fully to life’s experiences. This is, in my opinion, the most important obligation to ourselves we can make.

What is the gift of the shaman? It’s the ability to receive sensory input from our non-physical senses. Everyone has a spirit sense, but not everyone can be aware of it.

Our brains have spent our entire lives focused exclusively upon the sensory input from our body. It’s like having a tool in your garage that you never use. Even if someone told you that you have it, you still have no idea where it’s kept.

What is the benefit of perceiving things that are outside of our physical senses? If I can’t possibly see it with my eyes, then it really has no impact upon me, right? Yes and no. There are many things that exist that our physical senses cannot detect: gasses in the air, magnetic fields, radiation from the sun, etc. Science has allowed us to build devices that can detect these things, but it hasn’t yet quantified spirit.

Do the inhabitants of the spirit world commonly do harm to those of us existing in the physical world? No, I do not believe that to be true. Can the entities in the spirit world have an effect upon us? I believe yes.

To understand the actions of free willed beings, we need to have some insight into their motives. Most spirit beings do not concern themselves with us, much like we do not concern ourselves with them. To put it into physical world perspective, most of us do not worry about what fishes do, or the creatures that live beneath the dirt or those that fly high above us. Our world is on the surface and that is where we typically exist.

The physical layers above and below us are there, but have little impact upon our day to day actions. However, this doesn’t mean the inhabitants cannot affect or influence us.

A shaman is aware of the things that live in different layers of being. This allows them to observe and communicate with the inhabitants there for the purpose of guidance and healing of others in their community / tribe.

We’re all familiar with the physical senses, or our body senses. We know sight comes from our eyes, hearing comes from our ears, scent comes from our nose and so on. We even generally understand what each organ is sensing: the eyes sense visible light, the ears sense sound waves, etc.

The spirit sense doesn’t originate with an organ in the body. It is the interactions of our life force with the energies of the universe. It is non-local, meaning the perceptions do not even have to be near our own physical body.

The spirit sense is our personal window into all the layers of the universe. Why do I think we have this? Because we are part of that system. We are not separate from it and are not excluded from it’s nature.

The shaman has become aware of this sense. We have the ability to temporarily tune out our physical senses and allow our brain to receive the perceptions from the spirit sense. I often use an IT analogy to explain this idea. Computer networks communicate by two methods: wired and wireless. The wired networks use Ethernet cables to send data between devices. Think of these cables as our physical nervous system that connects our body to our brain. All sensory data from our “input devices” travels across the wired network of nerves directly into our brain.

The spirit sense is a WiFi access point to another network. It relays information to our brain, to the same centers that process the inputs that come from our wired senses. So we “see” and “hear” and “feel” things, but they are very foreign to us. In fact, they are so foreign that our brain tries to associate what we experience with what we know. So within the surreal world of the spirit realms, we sometimes see familiar things. We may encounter a spirit being and see it as a wolf or a bear. Or it may be some fantastic creature or even something that may seem like alien tech. Our ancestors saw what they know. They knew foxes and deer and jackals, etc.

We know these things too, but now we know much more as well.

Point of view

I am an urban shaman.

Across traditions and cultures shamanism at its core typically has these traits in common: communication with spirits, being aware of alternate “worlds”, facilitating spiritual healing to help with physical illness.

Urban shamans, like their global counterparts, have become attuned to the universe in new ways that alters their perceptions. Their methods are the result of how they came to terms with their additional awareness.

Shamans throughout history have gone through a similar process. Their traditions were developed based on their specific cultures and knowledge. Often, this included a tribal aspect which allowed each new shaman to benefit from having an experienced guide to help them learn. Modern societies are diverse and much more fragmented, which is unfortunate for those whose eyes must see things that simply don’t fit into our physical understanding of the world.

Urban shamans usually lack tribal mentors to give us guidance. Instead, we rely heavily upon learning from the entities we build relationships with. Some shamans strike a balance between understanding and madness. Some, sadly, do not.

On this site, I share my personal shamanic insights and perceptions. I do not claim to understand anything from any perspective other than my own. I’m not a perfect person. I’m constantly learning and evolving. My practice, in like manner, does too.

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