Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Shamanic Ecstasy

A long but interesting article.

By Alberto Villoldo via earth-heal.com, 28 September 2013



You are not your genes, you are your dreams

Several decades ago, I was a medical anthropologist doing research in the Amazon rainforest. My salary and expenses were paid for by a research grant from a pharmaceutical company hoping to find the bark or root that could become the next great cancer cure. After all, the jungle is nature’s pharmacy, filled with exotic plants whose powers have yet to be discovered. I spent many months canoeing to villages that had seldom seen a white man and wherever I went, I found there was no cancer or heart disease, even in the elders of the communities. Clearly, the indigenous people of the area knew something about health that we westerners didn’t know. What was their secret?

I returned home with my backpack empty, and my sponsor could not accept that I hadn’t brought back the key ingredient for a blockbuster drug that would make all of us rich and save some lives at the same time. However, I did return with insights from having been taught the wisdom of the shamans by several mentors who took me under their wing. I learned there was a magic ingredient to health that could be found in the rainforest, but it would not fit in a backpack. It was shamanic medicine. It was, the shamans told me, the medicine that would allow a person to become like the jaguar. And it could only be found in the invisible world of Spirit. 

At the time, I had difficulty understanding what they were trying to explain to me. It was only after years of studying with indigenous healers, or shamans, that I began to comprehend what they were talking about. 

Shamanic medicine refers to the benefits you receive when you experience the merging of your individual consciousness with all consciousness and all creation. This happens during special brain-mind states. The new perspective you develop as a result of this ecstatic, exhilarating experience is like an awakening to a new reality that has been hidden from you: the invisible world of your soul and Spirit. For the Buddhists the natural outcome of this experience is compassion. For the shaman, it is stewardship of the Earth. The experience of bliss, while wonderful, is not a goal. Dreaming a world of healing and beauty into being is.

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1 comment:

Maunagarjana said...

Good article. I like Alberto Villoldo. I have a couple of his books. Actually, I was in a crowd where he was speaking and he led us all through a spirit animal visualization, and it worked for me. I met my spirit animal, who is a black cobra.