Spiritual Ego and the Shamanic Path
I have just returned from a month of (semi) solitude in the jungle of Peru. I do this from time to time to refresh my relationship with myself, with my spirit guides and my Plant Medicine Masters. A deep time for reflection indeed.
When people look at me and say that they would love to be doing what I do (the healing work, to have the freedom of travel, living the so-called dream), I often smile and think REALLY? Is this really what you want? Would you really want to walk the path I have walked to get to this point? Ok, yes, sure, you would be welcome to it!!!
I personally had the awareness from the beginning that it was not going to be all "angels, bubbles and unicorns". Far from it actually.
I had to sacrifice my family, many of my friends, what I felt was security, my home, my preconditioned fears of the spirit realm, my hopes of having a child and rather eat out of dustbins for 18 months and live out of my suitcase for several years to get to this place. So, no, I did not take the decision to embark on this path lightly. Rather I feel I was dragged, with all the proverbial kicking and screaming I could muster by an unseen force that kept me anchored to it. The very act of walking this path was humbling in that I recognized I was never really in control of anything outside of me. The power of manifestation is just an illusion. The truth is, that if it is meant for you, it will come, no matter what you do. If it's not meant for you, manifest away as much as you like. Whatever comes to you as a result will only cause you misery. So for anyone idealizing the Shamanic path, for all the feather wearing, tantra/yoga practicing, face painting, naked-burning-man-dancing "goddesses" I see on every second Facebook page, sooner or later you will most certainly be in for a very rude awakening. Tying a pom-pom around your head and shaking a rattle will not suffice in the world of spirit, nor will it prepare you for a full-on exorcism in ceremony! I used to come from the school of thought that said "oh any demons or darkness is all in your mind...". Yes, well, it is, and it isn't. And it's the "isn't" part that I am becoming more connected to and respectful of. In his book Singing to the Plants, Stephan Beyer speaks of the unavoidable duel with darkness for the unwitting Shaman who is not vigilant, high in integrity and who does not stick to the rigid principles of working with Ayahuasca. And even for those who do, the path is littered with upheaval and danger. He writes "The territory occupied by the Shaman is suffering, hope, failure, envy, spite and malice. We are stricken by the resentment of others; we are betrayed by those we trusted; our successes are stalked by illness and death". Ermm, yes, yes, yes and yes..... But even be