Each of us performs a miracle upon awakening. We create the world anew, from scratch, as we recall our place and actions from out of the fog of deep sleep or dreams. Our miracle is so complete that we act as if we believe the world we know in waking still existed while we were away in sleeping. And yet, the Shaman knows that the world we know and take for granted disappears in a wisp when we enter a new dream.
What we now know as Shamanism is the common connection between naturalistic indigenous spiritual practices. Our First Nations people in this area practiced Shamanic religions, often led by women and with matriarchal inheritance. Though the cultural expressions vary vastly, the importance of dreaming and the worlds found in dreaming are a common thread.
I shall write personally for a moment. The Shaman’s path is not one that a person chooses. Becoming a Shaman usually happens while one is making other plans. Spirit selects, no one volunteers, yet once selected by Spirit one does choose whether to follow. My teachers have been found in Asia, Mexico and America. I am a post-traditional Shaman, guided by a vision of the future called Azatlan. I share my point of view publicly because I believe that now the time is ripe for a clearer understanding of our human condition in order to celebrate the pure joy of being.
I would like to share a story, a description really, from my benefactor’s lineage. It entails seeing energy as it flows in the Universe, a difficult task that takes years of diligent internal practice to attain. It requires superb detachment and not all Shamans reach that level; not all need to. My benefactor felt this to be the information of greatest value to the modern world, so let’s see how you do with it.
These Shamans see the human form as a luminous sphere, with various patterns of light inside and even more patterns of light outside the sphere. To say light is insufficient; it is alive with energy, vibrating with mind. They see that perception occurs when these patterns inside us align with the same patterns in the fields outside our sphere. What is more, they see that we have a tiny pore on the periphery of our bubble-like sphere that organizes and selects certain patterns for our perception.
In fact, we are filled with innumerable patterns that are not illuminated by this pore or point of organization in our waking state of mind. In waking, this point stays fixed to one particular location on the sphere and with minute shifts, maintains our common attention to our shared world. However, when that point moves, as it does during sleep and dreaming, different patterns within us are illuminated, which is why we have totally unremembered experiences when none of our waking patterns is activated, and weird dreams where physics and logic are distorted when only some of our waking patterns are illuminated.
Typically, that point of organization moves randomly when we sleep, giving us memorable dreams or no recollections at all. The Shaman dreamer directs the movement of that point to certain specific positions where dreaming can acquire some of the consistency of the day-to-day waking experience.
The astounding truth is that there is much more to us than our waking consciousness can account for. And so we ignore it much to the detriment of the richness of our experience as humans. For the Shaman, life is a never-ending experience of delight in discovery, with reverence for the beauty of Spirit.