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Hey everybody
December 19, 2000
9:29 pm
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kitten
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Tez,
Perhaps that realization of knowing nothing is the true secret of life (for some Freudian reason I typed in a "k" rather than an "f" at first in life...more about that later). Perhaps, the secret is, life is full of infinate possibilities... there is no set path, no karma. Yet, as rational thinkers, we human beings, need some sense of order to our lives. Maybe, in deed, "the falcon does not hear the falconer"! So, by you equating Shamanism with greatness or sacrifice is not an accurate determination. Maybe, those people felt the need to do something great to deserve the title of"Shaman" when, in fact, it is more about the opening of one's heart...the offering of one's hand...and the comfort of one's shoulder...nothing more. Maybe even, dare I be so bold to suggest this...maybe many of us have been elevated to the status of shaman, but it takes a few lifetimes to accept it.
Here is where that Freudian slip comes in. Maybe this will happen when we truly "like" life...our lives, what we have had, what we are having, and what we can have. When we like all aspects of self (the good, bad, and the ugly), and attain "wholeness" we are truly set free. Can it be that we all expect some great explosion of karmic delight...an enormous Ah-ha... when we reach the state of oneness? I don't know...just a little itty bitty thought I had going on in my head.

Sitting here, looking out my window at snow cascading from clouds, I sense my aloneness, my solitude...I wonder if that oneness, which has always somehow been expressed to me as a joining with God in some spiritual unity, is really a matter of oneness with the god(dess) within me (Self). I am less afraid with my thoughts, my terrors...recognizing them as mere playmates, some nice, some not so nice, and continue playing in the sand...lifting one grain at a time...measuring, dropping each into my vast bucket. (Oops, another Fruedian slip...)

December 19, 2000
10:06 pm
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Anonymous
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Shamans are cool:)

December 24, 2000
10:10 pm
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kitten
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Before I climb into my bed and dream of sugar plums and tiny reindeer...I wanted to come here and wish everyone a Happy and Joyous Holiday. May God bless us all!!! (or Goddess, Spirit, etc.) Enjoy!

December 25, 2000
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janes
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Thanks...we did just that!!hope your dreams were sweet.

j-

December 26, 2000
5:04 pm
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Kitten.

According to Dr. Joan Halifax "shamans are healers, seers, and visionaries who have mastered death".

I wish I could truthfully claim those attributes, but alas, I cannot. However, I am working on it; 🙂 especially the mastery of death.

I am (un)fortunate enough to have the practice in the decreasing repetitions of my nightmarish and extremely lucid death dream.

Of the shaman, Dr. Halifax quotes a line from a verse from Henry Munn's prose "The Mushrooms of Language", the end of which addresses the shaman by saying, "You are he who speaks with terror." I have attempted to "speak with terror" in my death dream by asking myself - during my 'dying' stages - the question, "what is it that you really fear, at this instant?"

Thanks... you have prompted me to read Dr.Joan Halifax's book "Shamanic Voices" (1979) at depth to find out more about the subject. However, in the end, it is experience that is the great teacher.

December 26, 2000
7:56 pm
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Molly
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Just don't rush it, we appreciate your imput, you challenge the mind which is a gift. Thank you

December 28, 2000
9:08 pm
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kitten
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Tez dear,
I do not mean to twist your arm... to me the journey is the most important part. We all are, to one degree or another, Shamans. I myself, have had many struggles with death... including my own near death experience. Death is not what scares me, but rather the lack of not living. I think we always have a tendency to look to the future as being better than the now. What if the now is all we get. So we must (or try to) live each moment of it. And not say, when I'm fifty I will do this or that. When the children leave I will get my degree...etc. In the second before the great light there is a fear of leaving things undone and not done. But I will tell you, in the moment of tunnels and brightness, the undoneness of life is not important. At that moment you know you are going somewhere--to do something ordained...to be a part of something much greater than that moment. (at least that is how I felt). Then again, what might be the ordained thing is to come back...to see the potential for life and living on all the faces around (you). It is not by accident that most people who have NDE's make changes in their lives...often radical changes. As for mastery over death...we all do that at one point or another...just like taxes. We feel the gentle pressure on our necks, the hand on our backs, the dampness of our fingers...and we submit to the will of greater forces. What would you do if you knew you were to die tomorrow at twelve noon? what could you possibly squeeze into your life that you haven't already done? That is, if there is anything, the fear of not living. For me the fear would be not being the wife of my lover...but in actuality I already am...I have made the soul connection ...I have joined with him spiritually. So, my friend, do not struggle so hard with your demons... allow them to show you other aspects of living...there is always a way "out"...an escape if you will, if you do not like what you see. But I think you are far too evolved to let fear rule you. Bon voyage. By the way, I have a book called "Shamans Path" by Gary Doore...Shambhala Publications (division of Random House) from 1988. I have not read it in awhile, but it gave me insights. Hope your holiday was wonderful. And that the new year brings many new gifts...I trust, indeed, you will be given quite a few visions on your path...

December 29, 2000
11:29 am
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Hi Tez,

here are some superstitions from me - not to be taken too seriously 🙂 The nights between christmas and epiphany are called Rauhnaechte in Germany (translates as 'tough nights'). At this time of the year (the darkest nights) the environment is supposed to be open for grim spirits to travel between the worlds. I don't think that any shamans (of the northern hemisphere?) would recomend a spiritual journey to face your own death at this time of year.
So: take care if you try, even if you are down under. I'll think of you.

And to everybody else,

I wish you all a smooth and pleasant transit to the new year.eve

December 29, 2000
5:06 pm
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Kitten

I whole heartedly agree that the 'moment' is all any of us have. All else is living in the dellusory past or in the imaginary future in our head.

I suspect that the 'moment' is a synthesis of music played by an orchestra with many conductors all trying to orchestrate the drama to meet their own illusory future survival needs.

I suspect that unconsciously, we are all motivated by enhancing our own well being, albeit very indirectly at times.

I think that our fear of death responses are a biological inheritance that, in some of us, have been paired with abnormal conditioned stimuli in childhood. This, I believe, is largely responsible for much of our emotional illness.

Hacking through the layers of disguises, I have found that my unconscious fear of death is ultimately fear of separation from the 'known'; a fear of not being able to cope with the 'unknown threat'. In the end, I think that the fear of death is a biologically inherited blind response of the amygdala. The magnitude of this fear of death is dependent on the perceived degree of the threat of harm.

Once our consciousness is beyond the influence of the amygdala,(NDEs, drugs etc) euphoria and sometimes ecstacy seems to set in. I found it interesting to read that male shaman sometimes get erections during their ecstacy experiences. I believe that dying men get erections and have orgasms. This similarity seems to indicate that the shutting down of the amygdala for one reason or another is what induces euphoria and ultimately ecstacy during samahdi and ultimately at death.

Generally speaking, cognitions have not yet advanced to the point wherein 'thoughts' have absolute control over 'emotions' as powerful as the those aroused when looking down the barrel of a loaded gun in the hands of a madman.

The practicality in all this theorizing is that we can develop our thinking patterns 'now' - in the moment, in the instant - to better control our unruly emotions. Finding ever more effective ways to do this, in the eternal 'now', is my primary interest.

Supposedly, shamans have routinely crossed over the frontiers of this dimension and the after death dimension and come back with profound cognitions that have the ultimate control over the amygdala, the organ producing the fear of death. Some have resorted to peyote and other drugs, a cheap, quick and dangerous alternative. I know there are other safer alternatives. Most organized religions seem to offer a culdesac.

December 29, 2000
5:27 pm
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Eve.

You said, "I don't think that any shamans (of the northern hemisphere?) would recomend a spiritual journey to face your own death at this time of year."

I seem to have little or no control over when I am confronted with death. I have a repetitious dream that I am being aphyxiated by lack of oxygen or a toxic gas. In my dream, I have the realisation that if I loose 'consciousness' I will never wake up. I go through terror as I struggle to stay awake. In some cases, I eventually seccumb, let go and loose 'consciousness' to passive sleep. In others, I actually leap out of bed in terror and awaken myself. Of course, sleep apnea - a real danger - is probably the cause of this nightmare. My RAS system is probably on the verge of activation.

However, I now take advandage of this gift by trying to remember to ask myself what it is that I fear. I have only effectively remembered to do this once in my death dream. The answer that I received back was that "I fear losing the plot". I puzzled over this for some time and concluded that it means that I fear losing my existence in a known environment (the 'known' plot) and fear the unknown afterlife or non-existence.

Somewhat like the shaman initiate, I am determined to confront my fear of death and conquer it. My motivation is not that I can actually die well in the future, but that I - and others that I help - may live better, more productive, and happy lives in the present.

December 29, 2000
5:34 pm
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All.

I realize that my postings are 'thread killers'.

I do try to be succinct. Sorry about my failure to achieve brevity.

December 29, 2000
6:05 pm
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I am so grateful for this sight, it is one I come to for comfort. I am so glad I am not the only one who has problems, everyone elses problems make mine seem so minute. I hope to god I find some peace in my world some day, it looks like, through your threads, that it might be possible. In the meantime I will keep reading and occasionly posting. You all are so wise and have such good insite, I can't wait for the day when I can let go of my baggage, I am so frusrated.

January 14, 2001
10:59 pm
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kay01
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January 16, 2001
12:32 pm
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Cici
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Tez - brevity is the soul of wit...

January 16, 2001
1:29 pm
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Brenda
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Kittens, true shamans or manesses do not HAVE any fear of death, having usually died themselves and "come back"....usually on more than one occasion.
This is usually part and parcel of their becoming seers/healers.

January 16, 2001
3:19 pm
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Cici.

Did you say the soul "of wit" or "of a twit"? 🙂

January 16, 2001
9:10 pm
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Ima
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Obviously there is no danger in Tez ever being a wit, but look! He was brief!!!!;)

January 16, 2001
10:39 pm
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Musta meant "of a twit"...

tee hee.

January 17, 2001
1:22 am
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Brenda
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towitt towooo..
a twit is who?
the wit of two..
toowitt towoo.

January 17, 2001
10:25 am
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you must forgive me lords, for i was born to speak all mirth and no matter...

January 17, 2001
3:33 pm
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All

Shining wits or whining .... 🙂

January 17, 2001
7:58 pm
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Brenda
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people checking out this thread will think we are all mentally ill or somehing:)hehe

January 17, 2001
11:12 pm
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kitten
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well, isn't there a fine line between genius and insanity?

January 18, 2001
7:09 pm
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janes
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Yes ....and guess which side I'm on and who is winning.

"The lunatics are running the asylum!!"

January 20, 2001
3:17 pm
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kitten
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yes, but they have better entertainment!!!

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