The Shaman’s Gift

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.

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The Spirit Sense

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.