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Thread: Cultural Context

  1. #11
    Opinionated Rae'ya's Avatar
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    Re: Cultural Context

    Good answers, Chain. There are some things here I'd like to explore further, but right now it's 2am and I'm on my tablet. So I'll be back tomorrow (or rather... later today)...

  2. #12
    Silver Member monsno_leedra's Avatar
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    Re: Cultural Context

    Quote Originally Posted by Rae'ya View Post
    .. What is something about the shamanic or hedge-rider side of your path that you practice on a regular basis? How does the shamanic integrate into your everyday life? I guess what I mean here is... regarding your comment about your 'shamanic manner of living life', in what ways can it be said that you LIVE your path, rather than just walk it? ..
    I've been pondering this for hours and still have no clear answer for you. I suppose it's like one of the medicine men I spoke to who said they do nothing special simply live their lives. The things Spirit has them do or be available for, does not make them special nor is it special in and of itself, its all part of their purpose in life. The keeper of a sacred relic for instance does nothing special except ensure the relic is maintained and available when needed.

    Have to admit that mindset is is very much drawn from the Native American influences that have acted upon my family since they came to America in the 1600's and established themselves in the Blueridge mountains. Though I suppose it also stems from the Scottish / Irish ancestry and its clan system and how they viewed their healers and such.

    To me it is not special to be a Hollow Bone or Talking Stick and I tend to make no such claim. Yet when the stranger comes up and Spirit changes my course, my schedule, even my life in that moment to aid it is simply being what Spirit needs me to be in that moment. Sometimes it lasts no longer than a single word to a person and have it change their life or let them know they are someone who is noticed. Other times it's words they need to hear and things that change their lives, purposes or course and they spend more time asking how did you know, what about them made it stand out and perhaps the greatest of all, "You men someone actually cared and noticed?" But its just living life and being that which is called for at that moment and answering the call a lot of times.

    Sometimes its all about listening to the other peoples and speaking to them. You don't go out of your way to do it, other than simply talking to them as part of your life. Yet its like consider the hummingbird who changes its very nature as you stand there and listen to its song. Was it along at that moment and simply needed something? Perhaps, but the spirit of the winged ones called and you answered in the manner and method best suited for that moment in time. Perhaps its influence is like my son who stopped traffic completely as he aided a snapping turtle to cross a road safetly and the woman who for no reason got out of her car and aided him because it was in the best interest of the turtle and her time was changed. Yet had he not stopped then its probable she wouldn't have stopped. His reason, because it called to him and he's seen me do similar things when a Spirit has called. Yet the whole time its just living life, not being special but being there and answering when called upon.

    When I am called to act as a Spirit Keeper it is not something we look for nor seek out. It is simply a matter of Spirit, the Gods or Goddess looking and saying "GO to this person and they will provide and care for you while you fully drop your earthly garb and cross over!" You can't prepare for it for you'll never know what each individual spirit will need. For some its simply to sing their travelling song and open the gates. For others it's speaking their last wishes, telling others their final memories, aiding in the kiss of passing and providing a safe place for them to strip away the last vestiges of their life. Other times its to guide and aid others who find themselves cast into the role of Spirit Keeper and aide them. But again its not something you do everyday but is a part of living your life and walking in a manner that Spirit requires. That or suffering the pain and punishment imposed when you ignore it and refuse your calling.

    How do you define standing each day with your life in multiple plains of existence? We mainly spend our time upon the material or physical plain of this reality but have to constantly define what our reality is. A struggle at times to define what we see, who we see, what we hear, who we hear, heck even where or when we see or hear. In the movie The 13th Warrior there is a scene where you see the young boy standing by the boat until recognized as being both real and present. At times that is the way with what occurs about us at times. Sometimes we have others that aid us in that they see it to, yet other times we are alone. I had a cousin that once asked me what I saw and felt at a certain place. I described what I sensed, what I felt and what I though I saw as shimmers and all she could do was tell me be glad I couldn't see the totality of all of it. Yet I understood at another place where I saw it all and she only could see aspects of it. But again its just life, nothing special we do or things we practice to enable us to do things.

    It is always about being who or what Spirit, the gods or goddess or even the other peoples need of us at a particular place, time or situation. We live our lives for the living of them but I suppose are prepared for the instances when demands are made upon them. In studying tales, fables, histories and such I learn how to relate to things or understand them against various backdrops and situations. In that regard it is a daily action of experiencing things or re-experiencing things to gain a new or more enlightened understanding of the basic questions of how, why, why not and such. But again its just living not doing anything special or different that you can identify and say "I do this and it does that!" to explain why.

    Sorry this probably doesn't answer your question and probably confuses the issue even more but its the closest I can get to what it all means and how it connects the parts together.
    I'm Only Responsible For What I Say Not For What Or How You Understand!

  3. #13
    Opinionated Rae'ya's Avatar
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    Re: Cultural Context

    Quote Originally Posted by ChainLightning View Post
    In terms of the tools of our practice, I think people are self-serving. We use these methods to placate this *something* in our minds, that would otherwise leave us wanting. For me, I want things to make sense - like, how I believe in the existence of fae and at the same time I'm skeptical of "imaginary beings", basically. So, in that light, what all *this* does for me is reconcile an otherwise conflicting understanding. It takes one level of conscious thought and maintains that level with the use of subconscious (or even out of body...) mystery. I can't really explain that too well, having never bothered to try and put it into words, like this.

    I believe in the power of the mind. My cynicism says it's selfish and pointless, a bit like mental masturbation. But, on the other hand, I also believe it's not nearly so outlandish or unlikely that it contradicts science. An aside here is my firm understanding of a sixth sense (I happened to mention just the other day, elsewhere) that is nowhere near a myth or fiction. We all have it, just that there's only *some* people understand it well enough to use it. Same kind of deal.
    I absolutely agree, for the most part. There are relatively few classic shamans in the neo-shamanic community... the vast majority of us have chosen this path, and even when prompted by the spirits are not bound into the 'do it or suffer' contract that classic shamans are bound by. In that sense, most of us are following our human nature in terms of being self serving. Even altruism is often at it's heart self-serving, because it serves that part of ourselves which feels validated by putting others first. The question here is whether or not it's 'okay' for us to be self serving in this path. I think that it is. Of course, there's a difference between the sort of fundamental self serving that we are talking about here, and a philosophy of hedonism and selfishness.

    Aren't we all indulging in a bit of mental masturbation? At the end of the day, even for those who walk this path because they are 'helping others', aren't they largely doing it because it stimulates that part of themselves which craves that stimulation? (Rhetorical questions, by the way). If we are completely honest with ourselves (which I know many people struggle with), I think we'd see that this is at the core of what we do and believe. But I think there is a lot of unnecessary guilt wrapped up in this, which skews our outlook on the matter of 'self serving'. I don't think that it's something to be ashamed of. Is it cynical to see the world as self serving? As a fellow cynic I'm inclined to say no, but perhaps I'm biased lol. Either way I don't see self-serving in this context as selfish, pointless, or in any way harmful to me or to the people around me.

    Quote Originally Posted by ChainLightning View Post
    That's a really good question. With everything in my life falling apart and circling the drain, just now, the meanings, that I once adhered to, have kind of vanished. But only in the sense of being active or pertinent. I don't know. My first thought is, like, they've become irrelevant or something, for the time being. As soon as I think about it, however, nothing has changed. Nothing is gone or overwith. I'm just overwhelmed with too many practical annoyances to spend much time on loftier (I guess) pursuits.

    Good question!

    As I just said, it's all kind of "on hold" or something. Like I've put the world, in its entirety, into its crib so that it can take a nap, for a while. Not like "going with the flow" but more like setting that aside until I have the time and space to unfurl that whole shebang, with its many facets and almost convoluted detail. It's too much to think about, as it is.
    This is a common scenario, I think. As humans we have finite resources, and that includes in our ability to cope with what's going on around us. Sometimes we need to batten down the hatches and put anything that is not useful on hold until we weather the crisis.

    I'll put another question in here... upon a bit of reflection, do you feel that there is anything from your practice that is worth keeping active through this 'batten down the hatches' time? We often drop things by default, because it's easier not to think about it... but is there anything that is worth dragging out of the 'on hold' pile? Either to help get you through it, or to help you keep perspective?

    Quote Originally Posted by monsno_leedra View Post
    Sorry this probably doesn't answer your question and probably confuses the issue even more but its the closest I can get to what it all means and how it connects the parts together.
    It makes sense to me

  4. #14
    Silver Member monsno_leedra's Avatar
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    Re: Cultural Context

    Quote Originally Posted by Rae'ya View Post
    .. Aren't we all indulging in a bit of mental masturbation? At the end of the day, even for those who walk this path because they are 'helping others', aren't they largely doing it because it stimulates that part of themselves which craves that stimulation? (Rhetorical questions, by the way). If we are completely honest with ourselves (which I know many people struggle with), I think we'd see that this is at the core of what we do and believe. But I think there is a lot of unnecessary guilt wrapped up in this, which skews our outlook on the matter of 'self serving'. I don't think that it's something to be ashamed of. Is it cynical to see the world as self serving? As a fellow cynic I'm inclined to say no, but perhaps I'm biased lol. Either way I don't see self-serving in this context as selfish, pointless, or in any way harmful to me or to the people around me. ..
    Not entirely relevant to what was said but it made me think about it so will hang it off of this.

    I have a close friend that creates a lot of turmoil in his thoughts and life because of what he "receives". The problem arises for him in that it becomes personal and he takes an ownership over the info he is given for another. As such he speaks to the person, tells them what he was shown, told, etc for or about them. Then he tends to cling in trying to ensure they both act upon it and do as he thinks the revelation was trying to suggest. If the person does not act upon it quickly enough, the way he thinks it should be or whatever other parameter he uses to judge it he doesn't release it and move on. No he tends to almost grill them on why they've not acted but also presume what was supposed to happen, why it failed, why he failed in inspiring them to act. All sorts of issues about it.

    He could never really understand why I could so easily let go of my connection to a message that was given to me for another. Couldn't understand how to me I was simply the mailman in the scenario and once I gave them the letter had no more connection to either it or the results it was supposed to generate. In many ways almost making it guilt on my part if I didn't take an interest in the material and follow it through to see the person acted upon it.

    For me it didn't cause issues for my purpose was not to ensure the recipient acted upon it but to make sure I gave it to them and they used their own will and freedom after that. Basically I delivered it then forgot all about it. Sometimes as quickly as simply getting a message, saying it out loud to them then forgetting I even said it. Had one person tell me sometimes I should actually record it when those "Connections" settle down on me so I could go back over it or at least be aware of what I had said as more than just a "I sort of recall it but it wasn't mine to hold or retain!"

    In doing so it does nothing for me as an individual or for my ego. About the most it does is to my mind ensure I don't have to keep getting smacked about the head until I accept the message and pass it on. Once done, my part in that story is then done and my character steps off the stage with no return engagement or need to follow up on what happens or doesn't happen because of the message I delivered. My friend could never understand how I could do that. Yet he could also never understand and accept when I told him his need is ego and self gratification that makes him insist on being of importance and gaining a sense of self worth because of it.

    Just something I though about after reading your response.
    I'm Only Responsible For What I Say Not For What Or How You Understand!

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