There is a change occurring in me. I feel the need to express myself tonight, to write something. But I also do not really feel up to it. Still I thought maybe I could do a sort of journal entry and talk about some of the things that have happened.
I started a thread at Dao Bums, and in this thread I said I considered myself to be a shaman. However it seems as if some were not happy with my doing so, if not downright offended. Some good points were made.
But I was talking to a friend just last night, and I said I had an urge initially to go into this thread and defend myself. But then I realized that this could only come from the ego, assuming such a construct exists (I am holding all beliefs in constructs such as the ego and the subconscious mind loosely.)
It would only be out of pride and to protect an identity that I would defend myself. It occurred to me that I didn’t have anything to defend.
I did not say I considered myself to be a shaman just out of pride. To me it feels almost like I have permission to hold this title. Like an honor that has been granted to me. Or a gift. It feels like this is the word that best fits me. It feels right. It is very hard to explain.
I do not go around calling myself a shaman, I just said I considered myself to be one. Saying that feels right to me. As if I was chosen, which, considering that a spirit animal in the form of a fox came to me in a dream re-entry (my first dream re-entry or encounter with a spirit animal) I guess I have.
I referred to myself as a Christian at that time. As far as I was concerned that is who I was. Which makes it even more interesting that this experience occurred. At least to my mind. Maybe someone else could draw some sort of logical connection. I don’t see it.
Some part of me must have been open, receptive, to begin working with my dreams, to attempt and succeed (just that one time) in a dream re-entry. Also some part of me had to move past or through fear, in order to accept the appearance of this spirit animal with a sense of curiosity and wonder. I enjoyed my later visits with this spirit animal and the others I encountered in the Inner Realms.
I consider myself to be a shaman, at least in part, but I do not call myself a shaman. I would not introduce myself to you as a shaman. I would just give you my birth name and maybe, if we approached the topic or a related one, I would tell you that I am interested in shamanism. But I think that is as far as I would go.
I can remember back when I was a Christian, how vigorously I defended my beliefs. What I lost because of them. I give you words that say how excruciatingly painful ripping myself apart was when i turned my back on my faith. I think one term that may describe it is “ego crash.”
I could use more words to describe how I felt afterwards. If there is no Heaven or Hell, no judgment, then what actually matters? For so long after I renounced my faith it felt like nothing in this life mattered. I wandered, adrift, lost in the wreckage of my former beliefs, floating in an ocean of Being, unaware I could just let go, just surrender, and it would be OK.
I just don’t see things the way I used to. Yes, there is no judgment in the afterlife. I state this as a fact even though I have never experienced it. I am trusting in the words of others who have died and returned. Ultimately it would not matter if they have all lied. I simply can not live my life on this earth under the weight of some punishment for any wrongdoings after. Whether it is called karma or sin it makes no difference. I would rather life in ignorance for the remainder of my physical life.
I have to belief, have faith and trust that we all come from the same Source, we will all return to it, and this Source will never condemn or judge us, no matter what we do in this life. Some would argue against this, and I remember how they feel. When I was a Christian it was of some comfort to know that all the bad guys ended up in hell. It can, even now, seem unfathomable that this is not true.
Some would say that my beliefs are nihilistic. They would wonder what would compel me not to just do whatever I want. If there are no eternal consequences, what is to stop me? I have no answer to this. I can only say that I have no desire to hurt another or be hurt by another. I can only say that I seek to be motivated by love, for myself and for others, in all that I do, say or think. That in fact I feel this love inside of me, and I would say it comes from my Higher Self, or Source, or the Universe, or God, but I have no proof of this. I can only tell you that I never felt it before, when I was a Christian.
In fact, when I was a Christian, I felt very little love inside. When I was a Christian, since I was already “saved”, what exactly was to stop me from doing whatever I wanted then? If I was going to do whatever I wanted (believe me, I had plenty of opportunities) I would have done it then. Because the Christians can only do one thing that would put them in hell, one sin that could not be forgiven, referred to as blaspheming the Holy Spirit (whatever that means.)
Christians believe that everyone who is not “saved” is a sinner who needs to be saved, that in believing in Jesus Christ, that he bled and died for their sins, they would be saved. This forgiveness is instantaneous. They ask forgiveness for their sins every night, I did, but they are saved from the moment they accept Jesus, no matter what.
When you think about it this is the way it must be, it is the only way it would work. If someone breaks one of the 10 Commandments, goes to bed without asking forgiveness for their sin, and dies, they have to be forgiven already or else they would go to hell. As long as they are a Christian, they are saved, so they go to Heaven.
That is what I was raised to believe and came to believe myself as a Christian. I defended my beliefs against all comers. I fought hard for what I believed. I “saved” others, what I see now as condemning them to a disempowering and imprisoning set of beliefs. A messed up, boxed up version of God. But I didn’t know any better at the time. I didn’t even really have a choice when I was “saved.” My mom led me through it, she influenced me, I chose to do it for her, I was 12 years old.
I learned so much from that experience and the years that followed. I can not call them a blessing. But I would not be who I am now without them. I would not appreciate the freedom I have now, and this more empowering vision of God, which I can now call Source or the Universe, which I now have. It is all that emptiness inside of me which this love has filled.
I don’t feel so lost now. I do not know with any certainty what awaits me after death (but I will, before I leave the physical), but I feel that what I believe awaits is what is there. I have heard the same things shared by multiple sources who have died and come back. It feels right and true to me. So that is the truth, as far as I am concerned.
I came from love, I return to love, there are no consequences, and there is no need for them. There is no need for control mechanisms of any kind. There is no need to make me conform or fit in with society by controlling my behavior through a religion. I do not need to be controlled. I do not want to be controlled. I do not choose to be controlled.
The only consequences that exist are the results of actions in the physical, and only while in the physical. But I do not need the fear of consequences to control my behavior. I choose to follow the majority of the rules in society. I choose to practice civil disobedience to the rules that I feel are unnecessary, such as those that tell me what substances I can put into my body (nobody tells me what I can put into my body but me!) I choose to be motivated by love, and sometimes that lines up with the rules of society. I choose my behavior, my behavior is not determined for me by others.
Going back to what I said earlier, I realized that I had no need to defend myself. That there was nothing to defend, and that is relatively new to me. This has only happened one other time to the best of my memory. I observe this in amazement and wonder. My behavior is chosen, not controlled, yet somehow it flows in harmonious channels, the current made even stronger by my motivation of love and the awareness that I can react or respond, it is my choice, and I choose more and more to respond. My response, in this case, was no response, because no response was required. I simply had nothing to defend, and nothing to say.
I like the way I am now, and I like the way I am becoming. I feel better about the person sitting here, typing this, than I ever did about who I was before, even a year ago. I am changing, and whoever I am changing into, he is a far better person that I have ever been. A far wiser person. A far more open and receptive person. A far more aware person. A far more loving and accepting person. A far more powerful person, but also a person with no need to flaunt their power.
I have finally determined, at least in part, who I will be. The path I will walk. Everything is lining up with that, and changes are occurring inside of me, helping me to act in completely new ways. I am in alien and unfamiliar territory here. But it is on this path, through this unrecognized scenery, that I am finding my way Home.