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A Case for Reincarnation

Originally posted on Shamagaia:

'2'_Dharma_Wheel,_The_Wheel_of_Life_at_Sun_Temple_Konark,_Orissa_India_February_2014

Wheel of Life: Sun Temple, Konark Orissa, India 2014

“The Journey of a thousand miles begin begins with a single step.”
Lao Tzu

A healing journey which had begun with Japanese herbal remedies from the super-market, now had me lying on a padded table in the treatment room of a certified Japanese Reiki master. He had been silently removing what I then only had the vocab to describe as, “dirty big knots of bad mojo,” from my energy meridians. Dredging me up from the depths of a sublime state of semi-consciousness, he intoned casually: “You lived a past life in Japan, about one thousand years ago.”

Later that week, after a few pints of beer down at a local bar, I decided to hazard a half-humorous retelling of the Reiki master’s claim to a group of my foreign teaching buddies: bad idea. A couple of them laughed their asses off…

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Review – Tales of the Dead (DVD)

Image courtesy Reality Entertainment

Title: Tales of the Dead!
Genre: Horror, Fantasy
Distribution: Reality Entertainment

Originally posted 2010/09/08

Just in time for Halloween. Tales of the Dead is a vivid introduction to the realm of horror as envisioned by the independent UK filmmaker, Kemal Yildirim.

Not being a huge horror fan, myself, it took me a while to get past my biases and crack open the DVD case, let alone watch this film.

On first try I just reviewed snippets to prepare myself for what I’d be in for. This allowed me to get my proverbial shields up and watch the entire film, later that evening. And yes, this definitely is a movie to be watched after dark. You might want to take it to a Halloween party. Maybe not!

Tales of the Dead is not for the weak of heart. It’s pretty shocking, contains brief nudity, and isn’t shy of presenting graphic violence.

Without serving up a spoiler, the basic story is about five friends who gather for a private Halloween party. This convincing part of the film is replete with drinking, smoking and profane language, as many of the younger crowd no doubt carry on in these days of global recession and the war on terror.

The film quickly shifts to the surreal as the revelers begin telling ghost stories and grim tales of urban horror. Several the five party guests bring short horror videos to share with their friends, which effectively leads into and unifies different shorts.

The first video, “Less is More” calls to mind several classic horror themes, aptly synthesized to make it difficult to trace a particular influence to a given scene. A bit of Edgar Allen Poe here, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle there. The plot involves a severely troubled woman who desires a mysterious surgery that she believes will cure all her problems. Her decent husband tries to understand but, as her obsession mounts, he can only take so much. A social worker suggests she try a psychiatrist, but a coincidental encounter in the night takes her entirely somewhere else.

The result? Well, let’s just say that this kind of film making is certainly not for everyone.

The second short, “Wolf Cry” is surprisingly clever at places, even if you’re not into horror, per se. We see into a young man’s incredibly delusional, amusing and horrifying imagination. This is probably the smartest segment of the DVD, sociologically speaking. Some scenes turn out to be ingeniously fresh vignettes about systemic hypocrisy and, as the sociologist Max Weber once put it, the Protestant work ethic.

“Penance,” the third short, also plays on several existing horror themes. In the DVD’s special features, Yildirim explains that he wants to pay homage to some of the great directors within the genre while still making his own cinematic statement.

And this he does.

In this short, a boozy British police inspector is called to investigate a disturbing homicide. The inspector apparently has links with the killer, and sometimes we wonder if he, himself, is the maniac.

The fourth short, “Missing” plays on the fabled Cromwell’s Curse, which in urban legend is linked to the historical Northamptonshire witch trials of 1612. This portion contains some haunting street and good library scenes, but I found it the least engaging of the lot. We hear lots of “Oh my God… did you see that?” but don’t really witness anything for ourselves.

Oh yes, it’s all fiction and archetypal fun. I forgot. But if so, a few actors running through the night in white sheets might have helped.

The final tale is told by the only woman at the Halloween party. Like her guy friends, she’s trendy and hip. But unlike her groovy pals, she doesn’t bring a video to the party. Her story is apparently real…

Special features for Tales of the Dead include “The Making of Wolf Cry” and “The Making of Penance.” These sneak peeks show how an indie horror film is actually made. They reveal the hard work, camaraderie and technology that goes into independent film making—ironically humanizing our experience of an, otherwise, totally “out there” film.

—MC


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The Mystery behind Subconscious Mind

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By sendcruz

Have you ever thought of the connection behind conscious and unconscious mind? Or the connection behind practical and divine world? If you have an interest in this greyish part of human mind then surely you have come across the terms of zodiac signs that are solely attached with astrology.

Many people believe that subconscious mind is the gift of God while the conscious mind which man deals with in practical world is nothing but a slave of the subconscious mind.

Then it can be derived that subconscious mind is more conscious than the conscious mind. Once Albert Einstein had said ‘The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.’

Intuition that arises from the unconscious mind is a sacred gift of divine. The intellect is a faithful servant. The intellect reflects as we see from the outer world.  In our waking world, the servant rides while the sacred gift (Subconscious Mind) patiently trod behind.

A picturesque analogy can be depicted between iceberg and human mind. The subconscious mind is the bottom part of the iceberg that remains below the water level. Yet subconscious mind is the maximum portion of total human psychology that is responsible for all the events.

Coming to the ocean part, it is the ultimate consciousness. Specialists often discuss about the consciousness field which covers a major part of the subconscious mind.

Basically the true nature of ice-berg is water. Again ocean, which comprises of water, is considered as God. So speaking frankly, human being is part of a divine soul.

The subconscious mind is superior to conscious mind.

In ancient times while considering the sun shine symbols, the total sky which is considered as round (360°) is divided into 12 segments based on constellation which has an angle of 30° each. These symbols are also called Sabian Symbols. These symbols are a set of 360 phrases of words. The different images of the zodiac signs corresponds to the different word phrases. The phrases might consist of 2 words to 21 words.

These symbols were born in San Diego in 1925 by Marc Edmund Jones. He was a famous American astrologer and spiritualist.

The name was termed as Sabian because Sabian people were an ancient race of alchemist, who lived in Harran, a city on the banks of Euphrates river in Mesopotamia. The city existed from the third millennium BC to thirteenth century AD. The Sabians were engaged into Talismanic magic. It is such a type of magic that is involved in coercing a deity’s power into a physical object.

The Sabian oracle opens the door between our inner feelings and intentions and the conscious mind.

In ancient times at Babylon, the moon-cult was the national religion. They are also known as Chaldeans. The word Chaldeans mean ‘Moon-worshippers’. As the religion removed elsewhere, the Sabian people practiced the tradition of Chaldean astrology.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/mysticism-articles/the-mystery-behind-subconscious-mind-7088817.html

About the Author

In this article author Shane Dawson discusses about the conscious and subconscious mind. Apart from that the article also describes about the Sabian Symbols.


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Heavenly views: Sedona, Arizona, joins ‘Dark Sky’ towns

Sedona

Sedona (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Steve Hammons  (originally posted 8/15/14 at Joint Recon Study Group)

(This article was featured 8/17/14 in “Knapp’s News” on the Coast to Coast AM radio show website. “Coast” has the largest late-night radio audience in the US. Award-winning investigative journalist George Knapp of KLAS-TV News in Las Vegas is a popular “C2C” host.)

Sedona, Arizona, just got more beautiful, if that is possible. Sedona is home to the world-famous “red-rock country” of magnificent stone formations and welcoming red earth located in the high-desert of central Arizona.

On Monday, Aug. 4, the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) notified the city of Sedona and Keep Sedona Beautiful that Sedona had earned the rare designation as an International Dark Sky Community. There are only six communities in the U.S. who have achieved this designation.

Now, residents and visitors can enjoy the fantastic red-rock beauty during the day and appreciate to a greater degree the nighttime views of the stars and planets, and behold other sights as well.

According to an Aug. 6 news report in the Phoenix-based Arizona Republic newspaper, IDA representative John Barentine said the criteria for earning the Dark Sky Community status are challenging but do-able for many communities.

“We keep the bar set pretty high. That’s the reason there aren’t thousands of them,” Barentine was quoted as saying.

But communities can start looking at the issue of nighttime light pollution and start making changes, he told the Republic. “We think that the solutions are simple, and that first people just have know that there’s a problem to address,” Barentine said. He added that improving the view of the night skies can be achieved by communities of many sizes.

Sedona Arizona

Sedona Arizona (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

INTELLIGENT LIGHTING

The Arizona Daily Sun newspaper in Flagstaff, Arizona, noted in an Aug. 7 article that the eight communities worldwide who have achieved the IDA’s Dark Sky Community rating are Flagstaff, Borrego Springs, Calif.; Homer Glenn, Ill.; Beverly Shores, Ind.; Dripping Springs, Texas; Isle of Coll in Scotland; and Isle of Sark in the Channel Islands, UK, and now, Sedona.

The IDA website points out that, “Once a source of wonder – and one half of the entire planet’s natural environment – the star-filled nights of just a few years ago are vanishing in a yellow haze.”

“Human-produced light pollution not only mars our view of the stars; poor lighting threatens astronomy, disrupts ecosystems, affects human circadian rhythms, and wastes energy to the tune of $2.2 billion per year in the US alone,” the IDA claims.

The Daily Sun article also noted that Flagstaff will be the site of the Dark Skies and Emerging Technology Conference Aug. 18-20. The event “will bring together Southwest dark-sky advocates, municipal and business officials, the outdoor lighting industry and public land managers,” the Daily Sun reported.

“The goals include identifying new lighting technology and evaluating its cost and safety, along with developing a framework for collective dark skies protection across the Southwest,” the article explained.

Night lighting in communities, towns and cities can be used wisely or unwisely, according to the IDA. Their website points out that, “We promote one simple idea: light what you need, when you need it. We know some light at night is necessary for safety and recreation.”

“We work with manufacturers, planners, legislators, and citizens to provide energy-efficient options that direct the light where you want it to go, not uselessly up into the sky.”

“IDA is the recognized authority on light pollution,” according to their website. “Founded in 1988, IDA is the first organization to call attention to the hazards of light pollution, and in 24 years of operation our accomplishments have been tremendous.”

“Our approach of public awareness and extensive partnerships is improving nighttime lighting on six continents. IDA acts on numerous issues to create a platform as expansive as the sky itself.”

Sedona’s recent accomplishment in being designated an International Dark Sky Community may have benefits beyond those noted by Sedona community leaders, the IDA and those working to reduce light pollution in the US and worldwide.

Cairns in Sedona, Arizona, USA, where New Ager...

Cairns in Sedona, Arizona, USA, where some say they mark vortices (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

MYSTERIOUS CONNECTIONS

The moon, stars, planets, meteors, comets and amazing views of our Milky Way galaxy may not be the only fascinating things in Sedona’s night skies. The area has long been known for interesting and unusual energy phenomena emanating from the red earth and red rock as well as unidentified lights and objects in the region’s skies.

And there could be a connection.

Research has indicated that the Sedona area rests on unique geological formations that include high levels of iron oxide in the region’s sandstone and limestone, combined with volcanic basalt embedded with high quantities of quartz. This combination is believed to affect Earth’s natural magnetic energy in the Sedona region. Quartz crystals themselves emit magnetic forces as well.

Additionally, ancient volcanic activity in the Sedona region has created tunnel-like “plugs,” now filled with a different mineral composition, which “tend to produce intense, somewhat ‘circular’ magnetic anomalies,” according to the US Geological Survey (USGS).

In Sedona, “Geologic structures often produce small magnetic fields that ‘distort’ the main magnetic field of the Earth,” according to the USGS.

These geological and magnetic conditions are believed by some people to be the source of the so-called energy “vortexes” in Sedona. Visitors from around the US and around the world come to Sedona to explore and experience these alleged unusual forces which are believed by some to affect human consciousness.

The vortexes may be the outflow and inflow of Earth’s natural magnetic energy, changed by the iron oxide and quartz in the region, then emerging through the volcanic plugs and returning to the ground nearby. That’s the view of some researchers like electrical engineer Benjamin Lonetree. He has examined Sedona’s geology and its apparent effect on human consciousness.

English: A picture of the Chapel of the Holy C...

A picture of the Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona, Arizona near sunset. The chapel appears to rise out of the rock formations characteristic of the area. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Could the factors affecting Sedona’s magnetic fields also have traits similar to a natural transistor, transmitter or receiver? Lonetree speculates that this is possible.

If that is the case, other unusual or anomalous sightings in Sedona’s skies could be connected in some way.

One thing seems certain – Sedona residents and visitors looking up into the night sky will have an excellent view of whatever is above, from the glorious cosmos to interesting anomalous lights and objects that we are learning more about.

What better place for such a connection than planet Earth’s newest International Dark Sky Community?

About the Author

Steve Hammons is the author of two novels about a U.S. Government and military joint-service research team investigating unusual phenomena. MISSION INTO LIGHT and the sequel LIGHT’S HAND introduce readers to the ten women and men of the “Joint Reconnaissance Study Group” and their exciting adventures exploring the unknown.


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Am I Called Or Am I Crazy?

English: Motorola L71 (China Mobile customised...

Motorola L71 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By George Fishburne, Jr.

I remember when I purchased my very first mobile phone in the early 1980’s. It was a beige colored phone and it resembled a block of wood. It must have weighed at least a couple of pounds and its big ear and mouthpieces could be spotted from several blocks away.

Whenever you touched one of the keypads, they illuminated with lime green fluorescence for all to see. I was forced to carry it in my hand, because it could not fit in any of my pockets. Occasionally, I would check my phone to see if it still worked because there were periods when no calls came through. In those moments, I would use my home phone to call my mobile phone and then when my mobile phone rang, I would answer it.

There is an epidemic in the Body of Christ’s pre-ministerial ranks of those who say that God called them, when in fact they called themselves. My pastor often reminded us as young ministers ‘if you just pick up the gospel ministry call on your own, people, problems, and pressures will make you put it back down.’ Throughout scripture, we find evidence that before God calls men and women to a work, they are first called away from a work.

When Matthew (known as Levi) was invited into Jesus’ fold, he was taken away from his lucrative and disreputable enterprise as a tax collector. Luke was often referred to as ‘the beloved physician’ to denote both his reputation and soon to be former occupation. Peter and Andrew were summoned from their prosperous fishing business in order to join the band of Christ. Essentially, you will know its God because God always seems to seek out those who are already busy doing something! God then creatively channels their energy, gifts, and commitment to a stream rolling towards God’s perfect will for their lives.

Those who call themselves run the very real risk of being left to fend for them-selves in times of crisis and calamity.

I can recall after wrestling for months with what I believed was God’s will for my life and sharing that jewel of information with my pastor, Bishop Victor T. Curry, he had nothing to say about it.

After he finally and publicly acknowledged my call, I asked him one day, why he had made me wait so long. He responded, ‘Because God always calls us first to preparation.’ During that waiting period, God was merely equipping me with the tools of patience and integrity, tools that must join forces with the call in order to fortify that very call.

Those who are called into ministry should cherish and make the most of those periods of preparation, allowing them to become thoroughly equipped by the Master. They are then doubly prepared to enter the ministry and mission field God has destined just for them.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/christianity-articles/am-i-called-or-am-i-crazy-7060925.html

About the Author

Elder George Fishburne, Jr. (www.georgefishburne.com) is the Senior Consultant of A Higher Calling Consultants and the Managing Editor of The Write Stuff, a writing and communications company which offers an array of text composition and editing services. His talents include ghost writing, resume & cover letter creation, website text content developement and an array of other literary services.

He is also the former Chief Operating Officer of the Elizabeth Baptist Church of Atlanta, Georgia and is the author of ‘A Higher Calling: Serving God, His Leaders and His People with Excellence’ and the accompanying guide and workbook.


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Closer To Truth: ESP

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By John Prytz

There is an ongoing PBS TV series (also several books and also a website) called “Closer To Truth”. It is hosted by neuroscientist Robert Lawrence Kuhn. He’s featured in one-on-one interviews and panel discussions with the cream of the cream of today’s cosmologists, physicists, philosophers, theologians, psychologists, etc. on all of the Big Questions surrounding a trilogy of broad topics – Cosmos; Consciousness; Meaning. The trilogy collectively dealt with reality, space and time, mind and consciousness, aliens, theology and on and on and on. Here are a few of my comments on one of the general topics covered, ESP and related psychic subjects.

Does ESP Make Sense 1?

Does ESP make sense? Well if ESP made any sense, if say telepathy actually existed, then I probably wouldn’t be here writing this in the here and now. Why? If most people sensed and knew what I was thinking about them, especially drivers, they would have long since beaten me about the head and body until I was a bloody pulp. In a more general vein, I’m not aware of any assault or any crime involving violence that can be attributed to anyone reacting to what anyone else was thinking. I mean what if you walked down the street of some fundamentalist Islamic town thinking all sorts of nasty things about Allah and company. Nothing would happen. As the saying goes, “you can’t go to jail for what you are thinking” because thoughts are private. Given the number of people thinking nasty thoughts that would seriously offend other people, probably millions of such occurrences per day, yet nothing transpires as a result, would seem to discredit the idea of ESP or telepathy as a viable phenomena.

Does ESP Make Sense 2?

If ESP made any sense, how could teachers guard against students cheating on exams? How could the military protect highly classified documents? How could you protect yourself from others finding out the most intimate details of your love letters, you bank account numbers, the contents of your will, and associated privacy issues? There’s been a lot of angst recently displayed over the issues of electronic snooping, but I don’t seem to recall any concern over ESP as being part of the everyday tool-kit used for terrorism; diplomatic, corporate or military espionage; or as a ways and means used by criminals to further their get-rich-quick schemes. If ESP were legit, well blackmail would really be rampant.

Does ESP Make Sense 3?

If ESP/Telepathy/Remote Viewing and related psychic phenomena really existed it would make for an absolutely level playing field since all knowledge and all secrets would be in theory equally available to all. Even your most private thoughts wouldn’t be private any more. We don’t seem to have a level playing field – never have; not now; never will.

There are various absurdities of things that would have to have been documented but haven’t been, like levitation. What hasn’t been documented is prisoners floating out of their prison courtyards to freedom. Surely that should of happened at least once!

Speaking of prisoners, if there were really such a thing as mind-over-matter then prisoners could mentally unlock their handcuffs and prison cell doors. You could mentally pick door-locks and bank vault safe locks, or maybe just float valuables from where they are to where you are. The law could never trace murder to you if you murdered at a distance by say giving your victim a mind-over-matter heart attack. There’s no shortage of criminal mischief you could get up to. I don’t recall any court cases where mind-over-matter was established as the ways-and-means of doing the crime.

If there were such a thing as precognition then we’d all be billionaires. Or, perhaps one might like to argue that all billionaires past and present have had or currently have precognition and they just like to keep that their little family secret.

In short, you could take any of the various individual phenomena that collectively make up all things psychic and come up with things that could and should eventuate as a consequence, yet don’t.

Does ESP Make Sense 4?

Let’s explore the notion that mind-over-matter exists. What sort of things might we expect to have been the case if such a concept were really true and a property of the mind that is part and parcel of each and every one of us, especially if it were non-physical and could violate the laws, principles and relationships of physics.

Well one question that comes to mind is why NASA didn’t employ mind power instead of chemical rockets to send humans into space and to the Moon? It would have saved the taxpayer millions and millions. Related, why do planes require aviation gas or jet fuel? Surely the pilot could just use mind power to get passengers or cargo from place A to place B. In fact you could commute to work in your car on an empty tank!

I gather you could supply all the energy requirements for your home, supply the heat and light the lights, just cause those electrons to flow, all with just a flick of your mental power and abilities. For that matter, what need of the Large Hadron Collider when physicists could accelerate and slam particles together using just their minds?

If your mind had control over chemistry, there would be no excuse for the obesity epidemic. You could smoke without fear and drink like a fish. For that matter, you could turn lead into gold!

Sports wouldn’t be very sporting-like. A routine fly ball would be willed by the batter to become a home run. A baseball pitcher would be invincible game after game since his mind would control the twisting flightpath of the ball instead of relying on aerodynamics. In golf every shot would be a hole-in-one; in tenpin bowling every ball bowled would be a strike; in basketball every toss would go through the hoops. Chess on the other hand might still be aboveboard.

Any condemned convict could ensure their execution would be negated. The rope breaks; the rifle bullets miss; the lethal cocktail of chemicals turn into harmless substances; the neck is mightier than the sword or the guillotine.

If you were so inclined, you could change the wording on documents to benefit you, change a one dollar bill into a one hundred dollar bill, or alter the actual appearance of playing cards and thus never loose a game.

History would certainly be different. If Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan had applied mind-over-matter abilities to their war efforts, they would have won World War Two in a matter of just weeks – or less.

Seriously, all these ‘what if” scenarios imply that mind-over-matter must have a physical mechanism since in each and every case matter and energy is being manipulated. If you do believe in ESP and related psychic phenomena, like mind-over-matter, yet you can’t come up with a physical explanation that independents can verify, well okay, you do have an escape clause. You could be a virtual being in a simulated universe and all psi phenomena is just programmed software.

Does ESP Reveal the Nonphysical?

For ESP to reveal something about the non-physical, one must first demonstrate that ESP actually exists. Since ESP has not been so demonstrated in any peer-reviewed scientific journal, since if it had been there would be no need to have these discussions on “Closer to Truth”, then the bona-fide existence of ESP is still up for grabs. While there is a near total lack of evidence for the establishment of ESP, there is lots of evidence that points in the direction that ESP doesn’t exist. There has to be an actual mechanism that links the sender or the target with the receiver. Claiming that there is a non-physical mechanism that is beyond detection is a cop-out. One can claim all manner of phenomena but when asked to put-up-or-shut-up one just says that it has a non-physical explanation which nobody can actually pin down. As to what that non-physical mechanism is, it’s just pure pie-in-the-sky mysticism. It’s not scientific to a scientist; it’s not acceptable to the average layperson either. It’s like claiming to have an invisible friend but not being able to convince anyone because nobody else, including the claimant, can actually see, touch, taste, smell or hear anything tangible about this invisible entity. Okay, there has to be an actual physical mechanism for ESP if ESP is to claim to have some sort of validity. Alas, as has been more than adequately pointed out, if our brain/mind can detect ESP signals then it must be possible to construct an artificial detector that does the same thing. Further, we can build detectors vastly more sensitive than anything the human sensory apparatus, hence the brain/mind, can detect. Results to date equate to absolute zero. Resorting to a non-physical mechanism is a cop-out; nothing that can be construed to be a physical mechanism can be independently verified.

Is ESP a Window on a Larger Reality?

For ESP to be taken as a window on a larger reality, one must first prove in an accepted peer-reviewed manner that ESP (and related bits and pieces) actually exists. Now there are some phenomena that don’t sit still, phenomena that are so random that it is difficult for investigators to come to terms with their reality or non-reality. Examples are UFOs, ghosts, Bigfoot (Sasquatch), and related. However, ESP doesn’t fall into that category. ESP sits still. You have target A and person B or person A and person B and they are both fixed and static. They can be tested again and again. There’s nothing hit-or-miss or random about this. Now what is telling about all of this, quite apart from the idea that nobody has an actual clue what the ESP (and related) mechanism is, is that despite thousands of experiments and millions of “I know what I experienced” events, despite the elapse of hundreds of years of these sorts of investigations, nothing has been set in stone. You would think that by now, if there was any structure and substance to the entire validity of the ESP field, that issues would have been settled long ago. The fact that this debate over ESP and the nature therefore of a theoretical larger reality is still going on, is suggestive that nothing is going on. If there were any nuts-and-bolts reality to this whole area of parapsychology, it would have long since been documented and written up in the textbooks and taught to students with as much conviction as the teachings of the reality of those laws of gravity and of motion.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/mysticism-articles/closer-to-truth-esp-7050978.html

About the Author

Science librarian; retired.


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Why Study Shamanism?

articles_shamanism

Rock sculpture at Georgian Bay – Photo MC

Copyright © Shaman Elder Maggie Wahls. All rights reserved.

This is probably the most common question asked today. And you know why so many people ask it? Because we are brought up in a society that does not have Shamanism. Worse than that, we are brought up without community. In the old days we were raised with a strong community around us. We lived together, played together, grew up together and sometimes even died together. We had elders and doctors and teachers and medical advisors right within this strong close knit community. Part of the work for Shaman elders would be to watch the children and find what each child was strong in. Then that gift or gifts were encouraged and the child grew into whatever came naturally to him or her. It was the community, the elders, the teachers, and the parents who realized the blessings and were happy to help the child be what he or she was meant to be in life.

Today we have no such possibility for ourselves or for our children. For the most part, we are raised to fit into a box; to learn what everyone else learns and to ignore or abandon anything that does not fit into society’s box. It doesn’t have to be this way. We have a choice. It is not too late to look inside and find those special gifts we were born with by studying Shamanism.

What are these gifts?

Healing the spirit is the primary function of a Shaman.

English: Yukaghir shaman. Česky: Jukagirský ša...

English: Yukaghir shaman. Česky: Jukagirský šaman. Русский: Юкагирский шаман. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Soul-retrieval is the gift by which the Shaman retrieves pieces of the person lost soul. This is often accomplished by journeying to the spirit world and requesting assistance from the spirits, ancestors, and guides that dwell in Other Realities or Worlds. These beings assist the Shaman in discovering what is wrong with the person and often help the Shaman fight a battle with the being now possessing those parts to win them back and bring them to the patient. Some of the classic symptoms of a person in need of soul retrieval would perhaps include those suffering from a mental illness; those abused as children, or those who sense that something is missing in their lives.

Soul restoration is the literally restoring of one’s soul. This occurs when a person is near death and his/her soul seeks to move on. This “death” could be the result of a psychic attack or an accident from which the body has recovered physically, but not spiritually.

Hands-on healing is most certainly a gift of a Shaman. This technique is still widely used today by Reiki masters, massage therapists, chiropractors and Shamans. Shamanistic hands-on healing involves the energy or spirit of the Shaman working with the energy or spirit of the patient.

Divination is the gift by which a Shaman can foretell the future, describe the illnesses of people and find their cure. Divination shows the path to the Shaman; which direction the patient should walk to receive healing. The most common shamanic method is journeying to the Otherworld and requesting information from elders, guides and spirits who live there. It is been said that Genghis Khan used his Shamans this way.

chaman forêt amazonienne equatorienne juin 2006

chaman forêt amazonienne equatorienne juin 2006 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Herbal healing gives credence to the true belief that the Shaman is a medicine man or witch doctor. Herbal healing began with the beginning of the earth. Many of the hunting and gathering tribes had the ability to heal with plants indigenous to their area. Today this knowledge is fast disappearing and Shamans everywhere try to support the preservation of indigenous plantlife and the lore surrounding them.

Dreamwork or dream interpretation is another Shamanic gift for healing. Shamans will listen to the dreamer’s dream, sometimes for several days, until they fully connect with it. Then they will dream the dream themselves and resolve the conflict to the highest good of the dreamer.

Soul leading is the process in which the Shaman will escort the newly dead to their place in the Otherworld. This is done because the Shaman who is familiar and a frequent visitor to the Otherworld will be able to find the “soul” its proper place. What a Shaman is according to Eliade is a “Master of the Ecstatic.” This is true for it is in the mastery of the ecstatic that the Shaman garners his or her power over these gifts.

Each of us has one or more of these gifts buried somewhere inside our spirits. Can you imagine how beautiful this world would be if each of us studied and mastered the gifts we were given? Who would be left sick? Or poor?

* * *

Shaman Elder Maggie Wahls is one of America’s most loved elder teachers of Shamanism for today’s modern society. Her classes are always ongoing online and she also offers free initial counseling to anyone who wishes it. Visit her site to learn more at www.shamanelder.com

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