Posts Tagged ‘shamanism’

Continuing Incarnation

June 15, 2011

I wonder if humans are the only species on earth that resist incarnation, and sometimes only barely inhabit the bodies we are given. A lot of shamanic work is committed to bringing split off parts of the spirit back into the “house”, the body. Traumas, perceived traumas, resistances to the complexity or demands of living life fully can cause portions of our spirits to split off and live in other realms, disassociated, leaving our bodies and brains depleted for lack of their energy and vitality.

I have had some genius body work help recently with a doctor of Chinese medicine. Soon after beginning that, a back injury led me to a chiropractor who found that nerves leading from my spine to various organs are pinched off. Today I met with a massage therapist who is helping to re-inform my musculature to allow for the changes these body workers are assisting me with. Synchronistically some big helps have been given recently to understand my mind and adjustments needed there to allow it to function more holistically. Mind/boy/spirit are all one big system. In seemingly random, but obviously not random events, these helps have flooded into my life from various tributaries.

I feel gates opening for big portions of spirit to come back into my body. However the body can be a creature of habit; mine has not been available for so much life for awhile. The early traumatic death of a friend, and other later experiences led me to split off parts of spirit from earthly life, wanting to keep them safe in other realms. Now as these want to come home, I hear those habituated feelings say “NO, stay protected OUT THERE. It isn’t safe in here. ”

Making this conscious is a good thing. I can work with it, and I’m excited. It’s just faulty wiring.

I want my spirit to live in my body as fully as a hawk’s spirit inhabits his, as fully as a lion, a cat, a dog, a jaguar, a plant live in theirs. These beings teach us how to be. My student life continues. Incarnation proceeds.

The still point of the turning world

March 5, 2011

Listening to dreams in a dream group this week, awareness suddenly arrived regarding something I have been doing instinctively for years but hadn’t really made conscious yet. Listening into a dream I need to go to the dreamtime, meet the dreamer there and listen to all of his or her stories with a different ear than normally used. In order to do that I have to hold my body very still, almost like one would do in a trance; movement brings me back to this world and I can lose the vision.

The next day I had a period when anxieties were buzzing around me like bees around a hive, so I did what I instinctively do on those occasions; I got very, very still. I take a position and just stay in the still place. Movement causes me to be stung all over by the bees, painful; but stillness is the cure.

I reflected on what I had made conscious the night before, needing to sit so still to work the dreams and wait for the discovery of revelations the dream points to. The stillness necessary in these anxiety episodes must be related I suddenly think. In them I’m listening to life as a dream, going to that still place, and when I am through something is assimilated.

Though I do imagine the episodes at one level are a problem to be solved, I begin to see now that maybe they are also enormously productive and in some way allowing me to bring in the dream of the world. Psyche is a realm that works with instinct more than rational thought. Dreams are what I am passionate about, so it might be that I need these periods to do the work that I do. Possibly this method is powerfully instinctual, irrational but also very precise. Maybe I need to relax and show more respect and trust for such processes.

I thought of T.S. Eliot’s words in Burnt Norton that I have long loved:

At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.

Later in this quartet he includes these words which I also find descriptive of what I am thinking:

Descend lower, descend only
Into the world of perpetual solitude,
World not world, but that which is not world,
Internal darkness, deprivation
And destitution of all property,
Desiccation of the world of sense,
Evacuation of the world of fancy,
Inoperancy of the world of spirit;
This is the one way, and the other
Is the same, not in movement
But abstention from movement; while the world moves
In appetency, on its metalled ways
Of time past and time future.

The still point. Where the dance into other realms can be danced. I begin to think this is shamanic work. Let the body be still so the spirit go to that other realm. The only pain I feel during such occasions is if I move, and then later in rational reflection trying to figure out wtf. (That isn’t a typo.) In the stillness there is only peace.

Psyche is very demanding. When I ask to become her student, vessel, apprentice and voice should I think she will address and teach me in ways that will be clear and comprehensible to rational thought? Probably not.

I don’t always love it, but at this moment I am loving the journey. What a privilege and challenge.


Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

August 15, 2010

PTSD is a very real thing, though most doctors of any brand that I have ever spoken to do not know how to help someone who suffers it. After a major shock in my life, which led to the disassembling of everything that I cherished in life, I unraveled at every level and lost nearly 40 pounds. I went to internal medicine doctors, psychiatrists, Jungian analysts and acupuncturists.  Across the board the diagnosis for my symptoms was PTSD. I applied myself in every way possible to what helps were offered, but ultimately no one really knows what to do. It remains a deep mystery, because the psyche itself remains a deep mystery. Psyche is the irrational world, the one that does not respond to medicines and rational models of treatment or such formulas for intervention. My doctoral work in depth psychology and specifically my work with dreams and shamanic dimensions of the psyche have been a saving grace, but the mystery remains.

Yesterday all of the furniture in my house was rearranged by a gifted friend who I invited to help me with it – an answer to a prayer for change and certainly a magical response to a ritual I have been doing to invite the future and clear the past. But today the PTSD has kicked in. Apparently my deep psyche is responding as though my whole world were undone and disassembled all over again, a raw re-living of the deepest trauma. My mind understands, is happy and very grateful – my body and the disease are causing paralytic states and anxiety attacks. The mind and the body, the rational and the irrational – these are all different worlds with different sets of rules. I am grateful to be inside this disease of PTSD as a doctor rather than outside of it, because I am imagining that only from in here can I help find a cure.  In this, on this day, I find a goal and a purpose.