Tag Archives: shaman

Freedom For Now

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Enjoy this freedom while you can, the internet has become a serious problem for the ruling elite,
Many people are openly sharing previously suppressed information and ideas,
Your elitist slave master’s agent provocateurs can’t cope with the volume,
Their agent provocateurs can’t spread lies fast enough to counter the daily exposure of the damaging truths about their corporate cults of greed, sham democracies and militarist agendas,
Your slave masters are cornered and wounded, hemorrhaging money, in danger of becoming, well dare I use the word; poor,
Equity dividends down to near zero, crashed real estate markets, treasury bond markets are in disarray, toxic derivatives are sinking them into a financial black hole,
And the rich ruling elite are running out of grateful third world countries to exploit,
The rich ruling elite have bought all of the important politicians, and still their corrupt systems are failing.

Enjoy this freedom while you can,
Before your ruling rich elite push the panic button of war,
Ah yes, there is always war, thank the Gods for war,
It has served them well in the past, why not now?
Seven billion people and counting, who would miss the odd billion or two or three?
They can make tons of money funding these wars and make even more money clearing up after it,
Of course you will have to choose a side and hope that yours’ wins,
The rich elite don’t care, they play on both sides, wars are a win-win scenario for them.

© David R. Durham
Spiritual Healing & Counselling
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Sacred Voice

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One of the recurring themes throughout most, if not all, spiritual and religious expressions and celebrations is the use of music, chants and songs.

Modern Religion
In the Christian tradition through the sung mass of the Orthodox church, to the time of French composers Léonin’s and Pérotin’s development of polyphonic music in the 12th century1, on to the majestic creations of composers such as Mozart, Bach and Palestrina. And in our own times, the deeply moving music of the composer John Tavener. Worship, reverence and music go hand in hand, and it is often the beauty of this music, especially that of sung music, which touches us most deeply.

Looking at other religious traditions, and at the same time traveling backwards in time, the Hindu faith has its’ rich Kirtan2 history of devotional mantras, chants and songs.

If we move away from modern organised religion, which accounts for only a small fraction of modern Homo Sapien’s time on Earth (currently estimated at around 200,000 years), what other forms of spiritual music do we have here?

Our Tribal Roots & The Shaman
Well, due to the lack of written records, our knowledge is limited. However, we do have the oral traditions from those more ancient of times which survive to this day. And they are the held in the keeping of the most ancient of holy women and men, the shamans of the tribe.

Whilst it is true that many shaman are given to dwelling on trivial mundane concerns, there are some who transcend their limited ego-minds to walk among the stars, explore consciousness and commune with the spirits, and rhythmic chants are one of the tools they use to achieve this.

It is currently believed by historians, that we have spent much of our history as humans, not in towns and cities as we do now, but in much smaller rural tribal societies. And here, traditions were passed down from generation to generation not through the written word, but through the spoken word, chants and songs. And anthropological studies have confirmed the immense capacity of the human mind to faithfully record and to pass on to future generation the most elaborate oral traditions, through myths, songs and story telling.

Rhythm of Life
So the use of musical instruments, rhythm, and in particular, the human voice feature consistently in the celebration and exploration of our spiritual life throughout our history.

Why is this I wonder?

Well I certainly don’t have ‘the answer’ to this question. But it does seem to me that music, and the human voice in its’s most eloquent and purest forms transcend our mental layers of modern languages and logical thought processes. They go deeper as it were on a biological level and touch us and resonate with us at our core physiology.

After all, from the cycle of electrons around atoms, our bodies’ numerous internal rhythms, to Earth’s changing seasons and on to the movements of star systems and galaxies, we are shaped and live our lives within many, many rhythmic structures.

And there are the modern mystics, who say that before the advent of the spoken language, we sang. The shaman too, as a part of their development, learn their own power songs for various rituals.

So could it be that the human voice3, that tool we use in our everyday communication, is at its’ root a sacred instrument to express the joy and wonder of the breath of life?

References:
1 The BBC TV series: Sacred Music, available on CD, DVD & YouTube.
2 The great Kirtan teacher, Chaitanya Kabir. His teachings are available at the Sounds True Website.
3 Chloe Goodchild – Awakening Through Sound, Web Link.

© David R. Durham
Spirit Healer Web Link
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Oceans: No Blue, No Green

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Today’s post is an inspirational TED Talk link from ocean researcher Sylvia Earle:

“With every drop of water you drink, every breath you take, you’re connected to the sea. No matter where on Earth you live.” – Sylvia Earle

“The ocean environment is unquestionably linked to human life. Covering 71% of our planet, it is the basic component that makes all life on Earth possible. All life, including our own, depends on a healthy ocean. The Ocean Heals Us by providing important information that leads to medical breakthroughs with powerful abilities. For example, painkillers modeled after cone snail toxins are 1,000 times more powerful than morphine.

“The Ocean Nourishes Us by providing a healthy source of protein rich in essential fatty acids. with most of the world’s fishers now stressed by over fishing, we need to stay informed on sustainable seafood choices.

“The Ocean Sustains Us by proving the driving force of our climate, which in turn provides most of the freshwater and oxygen essential to our lives, which feeds our crops and quenches our thirst. Oceanographer, National Geographic Explorer-in -Residence.”

(Quote Source: http://chge.med.harvard.edu/edu/topics/healthy-oceans)

Mission Blue – Sylvia Earle Alliance

Kindly Re-Blog or copy/paste etc. to your network.

David R. Durham
Spirit Healer Web Link

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Shamanism

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It isn’t always easy to put ourselves in the shoes of our ancestors, the hunter gatherers who roamed the earth before the advent of agricultural settlements and city states.

Imagine for a moment what it must have been like to be an integral part of the environment, perhaps with no concept of separation between nature and us, sitting round a campfire on a dark night looking up into the vastness of the start strewn skies, whilst listening to the cries of animals around you.

There is one source of the ideas which our ancestors held, which has survived the millennia and that comes from the shamans, the holy men and women of the tribes.

The main purposes of male and female shamans are:1

  • protectors of mankind’s mythological knowledge
  • divination
  • understanding nature
  • healing the sick
  • preserving the psycho-mental equilibrium of the clan, so preventing the spread of psychic epidemics and psychosomatic illnesses
  • communicating with spirits, who give them knowledge far in excess of that available to ordinary mortals.

Ecstatic States
One of the key elements of a shaman’s role, is to use trance or ecstatic mental states to gain insights or knowledge which is not available to ordinary consciousness. This ability seems to be a common part of shamanic rituals across the world. The means shamans use to achieve these altered states of consciousness varies with the culture they are in. For instance, the greek followers Dionysus god of wine, used alcohol. Other cultures use rhythmic drumming, chanting and singing or hallucinogenic plant extracts.

Whilst for some cultures, such as the Arctic shamans, spontaneously achieved trance states without artificial aids are preferred, and it is believed that only less skilled shamans use them.1

And in almost all cultures, this kind of working with consciousness was regarded as only for the strongest and most balanced of personalities.

Revival of Interest
After many centuries of persecution from most religions, during the last few decades there has been a considerable renewal of interest in the world of the shamans. This is due to a number of reasons, such as the work of anthropology academics like Michael Harner3, a growing interest in connecting with our historical culture2, a decline of organised religion and a wider acceptance of different spiritual practices.

Sources:
1. Shamanism: A Concise Introduction. Contributors: Margaret Stutley – author. Publisher: Routledge. Place of Publication: London. Publication Year: 2002.
2. Shamanism: Traditional and Contemporary Approaches to the Mastery of Spirits and Healing. Contributors: Merete Demant Jakobsen – author. Publisher: Berghahn Books. Place of Publication: New York. Publication Year: 1999.
3. The Way of the Shaman, by Michael Harner, HarperSanFrancisco; Third edition edition (1 April 1992)

Books
An excellent introductory book to the world of the shamans …

The Way Of The Shaman
by Michael Harner

USA Books UK Books Canadian Books
 

© David R. Durham

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Oh Shaman!

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As our villages gave way to towns, and in time, our towns gave way to cities – so we gave away our connections to spirit.

Out of the timeless dharma, the ryhthms of the tribal ceremony and the personal intimacy of our holy woman (or man), we have given ground over the millenia to our connection to source. Our wholeness, our holiness.

Today, here and now, we stand confused, betrayed and uncertain of our future.

Our shaman, our beloved shaman, who once held the rememberence our history, the keys to who we are, and in ceremony reflected back to us the reality of our being, our love, our union, our creator.

Today, if you happen to wander past the anthropology section of your bookshop, maybe you will find a passing reference to your spirit ancestors. Those who thought you worthy of rememberence, those who kept a verbal transmission of your glory.

The priests betrayed you – wrapped you in a cloud of unknowing – and a confuson of symbols.

The psychologist hates you, reflecting back to you only their own shortcomings.

And the pyschiatrist, evils as ever, wants only to subjicate you to their will.

Oh! Shamam. Fly free!

And sing back to us your sacred journey, so that those of us who have yet to lose our sanity can fly with you, and remember our original home, our love, our creator.