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Rae'ya
05 Oct 2014, 02:30
We have a number of people here who practice some degree of shamanism, with varying flavours and cultural contexts. I want to know more about you! What type of shamanic path do you walk? What culture does it stem from, or what culture has inspired it? If your cultural context is 'modernist suburban American core shamanism' then I want to know about that too! What is something unique to your cultural context and/or the way that you practice your shamanism? What is it that drew you to this path? Tell us something, anything or everything about what you do...

Torey
05 Oct 2014, 19:31
I'm not a Shamanist, but I suppose that I'll comment purely due to the fact that I incorporate aspects of Shamanism within my collective spiritual practices.


What type of shamanic path do you walk?

The only aspects of my practices and beliefs that are even remotely akin to Shamanic techniques are a) Shamanic Journey/SSC (Shamanic States of Consciousness), b) Animistic worldview and c) Otherworldly Cosmology.


What culture does it stem from, or what culture has inspired it?

I would say that the techniques that I use are a combination of Core Shamanic practices (not necessarily identifiable with a particular culture) and aspects of Jewish mysticism.


What is something unique to your cultural context and/or the way that you practice your shamanism?

Probably the fact that I use the techniques of Jewish mystics for what could essentially be labelled Jewish Heresy.


What is it that drew you to this path? Tell us something, anything or everything about what you do...

I learned about Shamanic techniques through a friend who was well-versed in the practice. I suppose that initially inspired me to investigate it further - she encouraged my work, and I found that there were particular techniques which worked well for me - so I stuck with them.

Then, later down the road, I discovered the practices of Jewish mystics - which I incorporated into my small repertoire of Shamanic techniques.

What drew me to the Shamanic was essentially the ability to interact with the Otherworlds in ways that one cannot when spiritually earthbound - and developing relationships with entities one may never encounter in this realm.

monsno_leedra
06 Oct 2014, 10:11
We have a number of people here who practice some degree of shamanism, with varying flavours and cultural contexts. I want to know more about you! What type of shamanic path do you walk?

Realistically I walk more of a folkish type Shamanic pathway.


What culture does it stem from, or what culture has inspired it?

At best containing elements of Irish / Scottish clannish influences, Native American influences and cultural / ethical influences from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Handed down through both folklore, family lineages and practices. Figure its a molding of hedgewitchary / hedge riding, animism, anamatism, granny practices, influences from Native American world views though I have Cherokee (Tsagli) and Seneca supposedly in my heritage which influenced things though quite diluted over the years. Yet having spent 23 years in the military and travelling I have incorporated some elements from places I've been or lived at.


If your cultural context is 'modernist suburban American core shamanism' then I want to know about that too!

No influences as I understand suburban plastic or white shamanism to be.


What is something unique to your cultural context and/or the way that you practice your shamanism?

That's harder to say. I've not found anything that you could say is unique to my practice though the methodology might be different in how we approach things. Nor can I rule out spiritual / religious influences that are caused by my beliefs that are not structurally part of my shamanic manner of living life. Though I suppose that could be one in that I do not see Shamanism as a spiritual pathway but a manner and method of living that functions within the boundaries of my spirituality.


What is it that drew you to this path?

Birth


Tell us something, anything or everything about what you do.

That one I've spread all over the site through various postings so hard to encapsulate here.

Rae'ya
08 Oct 2014, 18:00
Come on people! There are more of you in the woodwork, I know it. I want to hear about the cultural influences of our Peruvian shamanist and of our South American Rainbow Serpent devotee! Do we have any seidhr workers or people who are influenced by European traditions? I know there are some other hedge-riders out there. And 'bioregional' counts as a cultural context too!

Where are you all?

You don't have to answer the specific questions... that was just to get things rolling. But we need more input here!

MaskedOne
08 Oct 2014, 18:39
One of them hasn't actually looked at this thread yet while logged in and the other I can't speak for.

Err, wait that isn't exactly useful is it....

I'll go meddle somewhere.

monsno_leedra
08 Oct 2014, 19:16
Come on people! There are more of you in the woodwork, I know it. I want to hear about the cultural influences of our Peruvian shamanist and of our South American Rainbow Serpent devotee! Do we have any seidhr workers or people who are influenced by European traditions? I know there are some other hedge-riders out there. And 'bioregional' counts as a cultural context too!

Where are you all?

You don't have to answer the specific questions... that was just to get things rolling. But we need more input here!

The title might be a bit misleading for some. I looked at it, the title, a number of times before opening it as I though it to be something else. Granted I didn't connect it to its location initially either as I don't always pay attention to that aspect but use the title as an indicator of interest. Not saying that is the only reason but what initially side tracked me from responding.

Juniper
08 Oct 2014, 20:14
I'll bite.

What type of shamanic path do you walk?I primarily follow the Andean Mountain variation of Shamanism. Or rather...did, at some point. I haven't been very active with any of the practices as of late. Although I do take time every day to greet Grandmother Moon, Father Sun, the Apu's (Mountains) and appreciate their beauty and the life they provide us.

What culture does it stem from, or what culture has inspired it?The Q'ero people from the Cusco region in Peru. They were very isolated from everyone else until the mid 1950's but are descendants from the Inca people.

What is something unique to your cultural context and/or the way that you practice your shamanism? Since I haven't studied many other shamanic paths, I'm not really sure what is and isn't unique to my path. It just is. I did have the honor to perform a Despacho with a true Andean Shaman whom traveled to our region, a few years ago. It was amazing to be in the same room as he, even though he spoke no English and I spoke no Quechua. Perhaps the deeply rooted lore of the Inca is something unique to my path. Although, the path itself is relatively adaptable to any region of the world.

What is it that drew you to this path? Tell us something, anything or everything about what you do...My mother is the one who introduced me to my mentor. Since I was in my early teens, I've been participating in various rituals, journeying and ceremonies. Even now, more than 15 years later, I'm not ready to undertake any healing on others. That's still a long ways away.

ChainLightning
09 Oct 2014, 21:53
Much like expressing any of my practices in the Heathen section, I really should just keep my nose out of this. But, for the sake of argument/interest/involvement, I'll throw in what I have.


I want to know more about you! What type of shamanic path do you walk? I am horrible, as far as this adherence to one of the readily understood, easily researched flavours or types go. I have bastardized so many things from so many sources that people even "sort of" familiar with Shamanism would likely villify me, and with good reason. It is in that exact context that I am usually quite adamant about NOT professing to be any sort of shaman or even a student of Shamanism.


What culture does it stem from, or what culture has inspired it? Unfortunately, my crumbs didn't come from a single specific culture but an amalgamation of several Eastern and Western styles that I distilled, on my own, down to something I felt usable and valid.

What inspired the whole *shaman* thing for me was the mystical, the poetic and the medicine man, kind of generic, impressions that different cultures used to possess. One example of this is my use of medicine bags, generally attributed to any one of a number of Native American cultures. Another is the level of consciousness (this particular avenue of thought originated during and post-LSD usage, in my youth) and the exploration of truth or understanding within one's own consciousness of different levels - e.g. having a "vision", following whatever dreamscape topography, etc.. Another is the eastern healing techniques from dozens of millennia ago.

None of which are even remotely recognizable to the source ideologies that I "stole" them from, I'm sure.


What is something unique to your cultural context and/or the way that you practice your shamanism? In all honesty, I've kind of fallen off the pace, with this. A couple years after getting married, so maybe 8 years ago, I just sort of stopped practicing. Now, as far as something unique to my practice, I didn't adhere to ANY cultural dogma, context or teachings. I nabbed what few pieces or ideas seemed to answer some question or another that I had, or descriptor that could be easily modified to fit what I felt to be true.

Yeah, I kind of gave culture a heave-ho, when I was doing all my research, looking for answers. The only context I was interested in, and still am, is how the beliefs and practices stack up in my real world activities and with my modern day cynicism.


What is it that drew you to this path?

Initially, growing up with Ojibwa friends. In hearing stories, and in reading a wide range of books, it just all became an insatiable need to *connect* the mystical and the physical. And, as I mentioned, my LSD usage, as a teenager, helped motivate that particular aspect, tremendously.


Tell us something, anything or everything about what you do...

Unfortunately, as I indicated a moment ago, I haven't really been *doing* much at all. I still have my medicine pouches, spirit shields and assorted scrying devices (that I'd incorporated) but I just haven't put them to use much, at all, for a goodly number of years, now. Sad to say.

Rae'ya
10 Oct 2014, 01:23
Yah... more replies.

Now I have questions for you all...


I'm not a Shamanist, but I suppose that I'll comment purely due to the fact that I incorporate aspects of Shamanism within my collective spiritual practices.

The only aspects of my practices and beliefs that are even remotely akin to Shamanic techniques are a) Shamanic Journey/SSC (Shamanic States of Consciousness), b) Animistic worldview and c) Otherworldly Cosmology.

I would say that the techniques that I use are a combination of Core Shamanic practices (not necessarily identifiable with a particular culture) and aspects of Jewish mysticism.

Probably the fact that I use the techniques of Jewish mystics for what could essentially be labelled Jewish Heresy.

I learned about Shamanic techniques through a friend who was well-versed in the practice. I suppose that initially inspired me to investigate it further - she encouraged my work, and I found that there were particular techniques which worked well for me - so I stuck with them.

Then, later down the road, I discovered the practices of Jewish mystics - which I incorporated into my small repertoire of Shamanic techniques.

What drew me to the Shamanic was essentially the ability to interact with the Otherworlds in ways that one cannot when spiritually earthbound - and developing relationships with entities one may never encounter in this realm.

How have you incorporated your shamanic worldview into a faith that doesn't overtly subscribe to that sort of thing? Or have you found that there was an underlying framework there that had just never been given a 'shamanic' gloss before?


Realistically I walk more of a folkish type Shamanic pathway.

At best containing elements of Irish / Scottish clannish influences, Native American influences and cultural / ethical influences from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Handed down through both folklore, family lineages and practices. Figure its a molding of hedgewitchary / hedge riding, animism, anamatism, granny practices, influences from Native American world views though I have Cherokee (Tsagli) and Seneca supposedly in my heritage which influenced things though quite diluted over the years. Yet having spent 23 years in the military and travelling I have incorporated some elements from places I've been or lived at.

No influences as I understand suburban plastic or white shamanism to be.

That's harder to say. I've not found anything that you could say is unique to my practice though the methodology might be different in how we approach things. Nor can I rule out spiritual / religious influences that are caused by my beliefs that are not structurally part of my shamanic manner of living life. Though I suppose that could be one in that I do not see Shamanism as a spiritual pathway but a manner and method of living that functions within the boundaries of my spirituality.

Birth

That one I've spread all over the site through various postings so hard to encapsulate here.

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'll bite. I primarily follow the Andean Mountain variation of Shamanism. Or rather...did, at some point. I haven't been very active with any of the practices as of late. Although I do take time every day to greet Grandmother Moon, Father Sun, the Apu's (Mountains) and appreciate their beauty and the life they provide us.

The Q'ero people from the Cusco region in Peru. They were very isolated from everyone else until the mid 1950's but are descendants from the Inca people.

Since I haven't studied many other shamanic paths, I'm not really sure what is and isn't unique to my path. It just is. I did have the honor to perform a Despacho with a true Andean Shaman whom traveled to our region, a few years ago. It was amazing to be in the same room as he, even though he spoke no English and I spoke no Quechua. Perhaps the deeply rooted lore of the Inca is something unique to my path. Although, the path itself is relatively adaptable to any region of the world.

My mother is the one who introduced me to my mentor. Since I was in my early teens, I've been participating in various rituals, journeying and ceremonies. Even now, more than 15 years later, I'm not ready to undertake any healing on others. That's still a long ways away.

What sorts of things are involved in this style of shamanism? If healing others is not something that you feel you are ready for, what are some of the tasks and duties that you have been responsible for, or some of the personal techniques that you've used for your own benefit? Do you journey or otherwise travel within any sort of non-ordinary plane?


Much like expressing any of my practices in the Heathen section, I really should just keep my nose out of this. But, for the sake of argument/interest/involvement, I'll throw in what I have.

I am horrible, as far as this adherence to one of the readily understood, easily researched flavours or types go. I have bastardized so many things from so many sources that people even "sort of" familiar with Shamanism would likely villify me, and with good reason. It is in that exact context that I am usually quite adamant about NOT professing to be any sort of shaman or even a student of Shamanism.

Unfortunately, my crumbs didn't come from a single specific culture but an amalgamation of several Eastern and Western styles that I distilled, on my own, down to something I felt usable and valid.

What inspired the whole *shaman* thing for me was the mystical, the poetic and the medicine man, kind of generic, impressions that different cultures used to possess. One example of this is my use of medicine bags, generally attributed to any one of a number of Native American cultures. Another is the level of consciousness (this particular avenue of thought originated during and post-LSD usage, in my youth) and the exploration of truth or understanding within one's own consciousness of different levels - e.g. having a "vision", following whatever dreamscape topography, etc.. Another is the eastern healing techniques from dozens of millennia ago.

None of which are even remotely recognizable to the source ideologies that I "stole" them from, I'm sure.

In all honesty, I've kind of fallen off the pace, with this. A couple years after getting married, so maybe 8 years ago, I just sort of stopped practicing. Now, as far as something unique to my practice, I didn't adhere to ANY cultural dogma, context or teachings. I nabbed what few pieces or ideas seemed to answer some question or another that I had, or descriptor that could be easily modified to fit what I felt to be true.

Yeah, I kind of gave culture a heave-ho, when I was doing all my research, looking for answers. The only context I was interested in, and still am, is how the beliefs and practices stack up in my real world activities and with my modern day cynicism.

Initially, growing up with Ojibwa friends. In hearing stories, and in reading a wide range of books, it just all became an insatiable need to *connect* the mystical and the physical. And, as I mentioned, my LSD usage, as a teenager, helped motivate that particular aspect, tremendously.

Unfortunately, as I indicated a moment ago, I haven't really been *doing* much at all. I still have my medicine pouches, spirit shields and assorted scrying devices (that I'd incorporated) but I just haven't put them to use much, at all, for a goodly number of years, now. Sad to say.

A) Don't be silly... there is no such thing as 'need to keep my nose out of it'. I want to hear about your practice. So you need to tell me about it! :p

B) Not being directly recognisable as from the sources you 'stole' them from is actually a good thing, in my opinion. I think that when we bastardise (which many of us do), it's important that we recognise that we've bastardised something and accept that it is now 'OUR' practice and not someone else's. This is where things like cultural appropriation come into it. It's only cultural appropriation if you claim that it is something that it is not. Once you say 'hey, I do my own thing, squished together from ten different sources and it's not called anything in particular' then what you've done is created your own cultural context. Personally I think this is just as valid as someone who has a traditional base and practices something that is a 'accepted' or already-established path (traditional or otherwise). It sometimes cops flak from certain members of the shamanist community, but that's part of the reason that I don't run in those circles anymore.

When I first started, there was so much emphasis on cultural context and which path you follow and you can't be a shamanist if you don't have a cultural context... a few years in I called BS on that, because the reality is that we ALL practice within some sort of context and within some sort of culture. Sometimes it's our own modern hybrid context. Sometimes it's from a traditional or extant base. 'Real world cynic' is a cultural context. None of us are bereft of culture... just because it's not some mystical ancient path practiced by romanticised or indigenous peoples doesn't mean it's not 'culture'. I knew so many elitist hypocrite neo-shamanists who would vilify core shamanists or those who couldn't put a name to their cultural context... I didn't want to be a part of that. And it saddens me that there are so many people who are afraid or unwilling to talk about their path and their experiences because of those elitist hypocrites.

C) As for the question... what are your beliefs and experiences regarding worlds other than this one? As a cynical non-indigenous American, what do you believe regarding what we are actually doing with all this 'stuff'. What do these techniques mean to you? How have you harnessed them all together to make sense of the world, are you still trying to do that, or did you give up and just go with the flow?

ChainLightning
10 Oct 2014, 02:41
As for the question... what are your beliefs and experiences regarding worlds other than this one? I don't believe that parallel universes are at all separate from this one. I mentioned that dreamscape topography? I think all of those different planes and levels of reality, so to speak, are all intertwined and mutually dependent.

And I do believe that Living Nature has kicked-in elsewhere in the universe. I don't know what life there may be, but I'm almost certain that it's there. It is in this context that I do not believe in that mutually dependent existence, between solar systems, planets and galaxies. Old ones die and new ones are born, just like most everything else. Unrelated and independent.


As a cynical non-indigenous American, what do you believe regarding what we are actually doing with all this 'stuff'. Again, I'm not quite certain I'm understanding the direction of the question, so...

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.


What do these techniques mean to you? 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!


How have you harnessed them all together to make sense of the world, are you still trying to do that, or did you give up and just go with the flow? 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.

But yeah, making sense of the world when the reality is that there IS no sense to be made. That's a constant. I've not given that up, I've just not been taking the time to maintain the urgency, if you will.

Rae'ya
10 Oct 2014, 07:16
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)...

monsno_leedra
10 Oct 2014, 12:06
.. 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.

Rae'ya
10 Oct 2014, 19:08
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.


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?


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 :)

monsno_leedra
10 Oct 2014, 19:50
.. 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.