Hart en Ziel, The Leudal Festival, will take place on September 6, 2020 in the Trefcentrum Aldenghoor from 1 p.m. to...
The shaman apprentice
The emergence of the first shaman may have happened more or less by chance. From then on, however, knowledge is collected and passed on. The shaman is not only a healer and a sage, he also becomes a teacher. But who becomes a student?
Our brain has certain capacities, and a key number is the 50. Up to (plus-minus) 50 things of a kind we can store and remember perfectly. In addition, of course, many more, but this less accurate and detailed. A clan of humanity’s earliest days could not encompass more people than one could survey and know well.
50, whether we are aware of it or not, regulates our knowledge today. A homeopath once told me that one could know precisely 50 remedies, which were at the center of his practice. Another 100 could be kept quite well in the head and even more at least keyword-like. Flower essence people may feel reminded of themselves. Systems that consist of up to 50 essences are the easiest to learn and are better at memorizing than those exceeding that number.
One in 50 of the well-known members of the clan should therefore be the candidate for the job of the next generation shaman, one of the group the medicine man or medicine woman knows best and whose abilities he / she can best gauge.
His most important lesson is finding access to the realm of knowledge. This is about the experience of knowledge, not the abstraction of books and lectures. There are two ways. The special state of consciousness, in which one learns information from other worlds, must be free of everyday chatter. No distractions. Neither conscious waking nor sleeping help you to find answers. Just in between. Being half asleep or, in other words, in a trance. Accordingly, it is possible to get to that place both from the waking and the sleeping state.
From the waking state, it seems a bit easier. Certain breathing and concentration techniques allow you to sink into the trance. Also drums help, dancing and singing. Monotony bores the mind, so it opens to influences from the spiritual world. Without concentration, however, it immediately begins to deal with the insignificant, thinking about ordinary things, desires and longings. This is the stumbling block of both shamanic trance and meditation: the focus on silence. But if one of us has already succeeded, why should it be impossible for others?
It’s the same with sleep. Here the trick is to consciously decide from a certain point in the dream to ask the essential question without waking up immediately. Again, there are many aids and methods. One of them is the reality test. If we do it as often as possible during the day, it imprints itself like any other habit. The odds are we’ll run it in the dream someday. Only the result will be different than in the usual reality. We realize that we are not in everyday reality, but dreaming. Now that we have realized that, we can practice controlling the dream. Such a reality test may e.g. consist in drilling the index finger into the palm of the other hand. In the dream, we find that he does not encounter resistance, but slides through the hand: we dream! Uh ... what was the question? Already we would be at the stumbling block of entering the trance in the dream. Now we know that we are dreaming, but have forgotten what we wanted to dream. Both methods prove to be equally tricky, both require practice, repetition and dedication. Here, the less suitable shaman students sort themselves out.
The medicine wheel serves as a guidepost. You are in the center yourself, but you do not stay there - at least not permanently - nor do you stay the same. Staying in the cosy center would mean to be self-indulgent. The transformation takes place in the center, but the input comes from the outside. If we keep a child permanently alone in a room, it will not develop as in an environment full of impressions and stimuli, in which it is always inspired, challenged and encouraged. The activation by influences increases the intelligence and the ability to act and also the satisfaction in life. So we leave the center regularly. Where do we start?
I shall provide an answer in the next posting.