visions and dreaming of a Toltec Nagual

Posts tagged “lucid dreaming

An Echo in the Spiral of Time

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I had a dreamed experience quite a few years ago that pointed for me to the non-linear nature of time and reality.

When I was sixteen I went on a camping trip for a week with my brother. We got to a specific location and something weird happened. It got close to the gloaming and I ran into the woods. My brother came looking for me but said he couldn’t see me even when relatively close – I had become “Invisible” in his words; I had to shout to get his attention. Well we walked out of that area, and as we walked I remember cheerfully “twiddling” sticks at either side.

Well the dreamed experience came around three or four years ago…

I was in the throes of a full-scale lucid dream – having found my hands I was flying around to different locations. The dream then crashed as it sometimes does and I found myself walking along a path with complete clarity. Dim sunlight was coming through the trees. I realized then I was in the same location. I ran along up the path – to find myself walking behind someone who was “twiddling” sticks – dressed in combats as I had been. It was a stunning realization. I was now walking behind myself.. – ‘stalking myself’ through this dream. I had accessed something like a loop in reality and was dreaming a scene from the past.

In the dream I was also reminded of something I had intuited from that time …This thought came to me just as all thoughts do but stuck out from the rest as something of an anomaly – I was “told” I was a ‘pioneer’ And I heard it again when whispered by the voice of the Dreaming Emissary. Like a promise to an imagined future, I recognised this had now been fulfilled.

The becoming ‘invisible’ was no coincidence.

silhouette-of-man-walking-through-misty-trees

The strange recurrence of this situation seen from a totally different perspective – this echo in time – was I am sure due to the presence of “Inorganic Beings”. Don Juan said of these entities that they possess a Gap much smaller than that of man – which means they certainly live longer or at least without threat of immediate annihilation. Perhaps to some extent they are ‘without time’ and can move around freely within this plane of existence. But this would mean that the nature of time and reality is non-sequential to permit such a movement. All the evidence would suggests that time is instead a circular motion, a wheel of time, like a spiral that turns infinitely in space. Perhaps if you travel far enough you would eventually emerge back at the beginning. This loop in the fabric of time unleashes unlimited possibilities in my opinion. So, in dreaming it is certainly possible to meet yourself walking along a path you took many years before.

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Finding the Spirit Catcher (Dreaming Awake)

Some years ago I made the decision, I was going to get back into hiking and camping in a big way. I decided I wanted to go to Scotland, but felt slightly trepidations about heading straight for the highlands. I needed somewhere remote but wanted to test the water first. I found myself in a second-hand book shop, a copy of a map came into my hands. It was for an area of Scotland, called the Ochill Hills, near Perth. I decided I was going to try this area.

I arrived on the train at the place I was going to start my hike and headed off into the hills. Then next day, I was walking along a path near a train line. I noticed some woods just beyond. I crossed the railway line and found lying there the carcass of a dead Roe deer. It had one of its antlers missing, I suspected it had been hit by a train. Some distance from the body, I found the other antler. Then I noticed from where the deer must have come. There was a woodland directly in front of me, which seemed somehow familiar. I stood there for a moment looking into the wood assessing the situation. I suddenly realised, I had been here before in lucid dreaming.

The dream had been a protracted one. As I remembered it had been very intense in its vividness. There was someone in the dream I had known. A person who had been living with me for sometime. I was following him in the dream through various dreamscapes. Then toward the end of the dream, I found myself in another place entirely. This part was more lucid than the rest, it was like waking up in daylight. I climbed over a branch of a fallen tree entering this new location. I looked down on the ground and there was a zippo lighter. The most significant thing about this person I had been following; was that I had given him a zippo just the day before. I picked up the shiny metal object and studied it. I walked several more paces and there to my amazement, was another lighter nestling in the undergrowth. This was a gas lighter but just as shiny, I picked it up as well. It was at that point I looked up and realised, I was in the grounds of something like a stately home; I suspected there might be even a game keeper. I woke from the dream.

This dream had been weird on several levels. It was odd that this person I knew had been in the dream. It was also strange that he had been leading me and the lucidness of the dream was stunning and unforgettable, in particularly this last part. The lighters seemed significant as something I had recently given away. And the fact I was finding them again seemed to mean I was being given something in recompense. The phrase “a double portion of the spirit” reverberated round my head.

The concept of dreaming is an important aspect of Don Juan’s teachings. He set out the idea that there are different levels of dreaming and gates to be crossed. The first gate of dreaming is to gain control over ones attention in dreaming by finding the hands. This anchors the double in the second attention. The second gate of dreaming is to learn how to wake up in the dream into yet another dream – enabling the dreamer to change dreaming locations entirely. The third gate of dreaming is reached when you find you are staring at yourself in a dream. The fourth gate of dreaming involves learning to use the energy body to travel. This can be used to find:

“firstly concrete places in this world; two, to travel to concrete places out of this world; and, three, to travel to places that exist only in the intent of others.” 

There are three further gates. The Fifth gate of dreaming is to be able to bring out the dreaming double in everyday life. The sixth is to be able to transport the physical body to another location entirely. And the seventh gate is to be able to transcend the world entirely and to step beyond this world with the totality of oneself.

So, I understood that this is wood now in front of me in some way represented the woodland within my dream. The concept for me was that this was reaching the fourth gate of dreaming. I had found a “concrete places in this world”The concept then in stalking relative to the dreamed experience, meant I had entered a state of awareness called “Dreaming Awake”. This is finding the location of your dreaming in waking life and dreaming the location again.

I had a moment’s deliberation,  then set off into the wood. It all seemed very familiar. I took the zippo out of my pocket and inspected it looking down at my hands. I heard a noise which startled me and which made me look up. There some distance in front of me stood a huge stag. He was staring at me. The moment lasted for a while then he turned and lumbered heavily off into the woods. I went to follow him but realised there was a huge ravine that separated us, one more step and I would have fallen in.

I went back to the railway line. I understood then that I had been in the location of my dreaming. That the dream itself had meant reaching the fourth gate of dreaming and I had crossed it. The Antler was a power object – I took as my spirit catcher. In the dream the friend I had known must have been a Scout, even the shiny lighters I took must have been Inorganic Beings – hiding in the fabric of the dream. But most importantly, I had found in my waking experience the place which I had dreamed (the realisation of stalking)/and within the dream, I had found a real location of the world (the culmination of dreaming).

I had also through this state of ‘Dreaming Awake’ found my spirit animal. I looked up sometime later the significance of the deer and the stag. In terms of the systems of the indigenous Peoples of North America; the Deer is regarded as my spirit animal in connection with their horoscope. Also, especially in relation to the Mayan calendar; my Ahua Kin, is “Manik” which means ‘deer’ and the glyph for Manik shows the hand of the hunter. Manik is the powerful and transformative seventh face of the Ahau Kin and is associated with accomplishment and the Craft of Life. The successful hunt requires that the hunter fully understands – even becomes one with – the life energy of the prey. This balance between hunter and hunted is imagined as wholeness rather than opposition and expresses the character of Manik. Manik is the knowledge and transformation manifested by the sacrifice/forgiveness of Cimi(death).

"Manik" Glyph (Mayan Tzolkin Count of Long Days, Calendar)

“Manik” Glyph (Mayan Tzolkin Count of Long Days, Calendar)


Stalking and Dreaming

The most demanding aspect of the teachings of Don Juan Matus, is in regard to the duality of the warrior; how is it possible to reconcile the two halves of our double nature that comprise the whole.

Our dual nature is at best both an advantage and something of a burden… it can inhibit our actions and cloud our judgement at times.

The balancing of the two sides of our being is the answer to this dilemma.

Don Juan makes it clear that all that remains of the Toltec teachings is in a sense ‘stalking’ and its counterpart ‘dreaming’.

“Stalkers deal with people, with the world of ordinary affairs. Stalkers are the practitioners of controlled folly as the dreamers are the practitioners of dreamingControlled folly is the basis for stalking, as dreams are the basis for dreaming. Generally speaking, a warrior’s greatest accomplishment in the second attention is dreaming, and in the first attention his greatest accomplishment is stalking. In the absence of self-importance, a warrior’s only way of dealing with the social milieu is in terms of controlled folly.”

STALKING ~

A warrior follows the rule of the stalkers. The Rule applies to everyone but the stalker takes it on as the only means of buffering the onslaughts of power that come in the pursuit of knowledge. The rule is that a warrior has essentially given up the concerns of his everyday life in the pursuit of knowledge. He is only interested in unravelling the mysteries of the universe. He must come to the understanding that this mystery is infinite, and as such this is a hopeless task but he must proceed anyway. In doing so the warrior becomes a part of the mystery themselves – everything within his universe becomes equal unimportant and as to nothing. This principle is the Rule of stalkers.

Don Juan lays out the principles for the warrior in regard to stalking:

  • To choose the battlefield
  • To discard everything which is unnecessary
  • To choose your battles with care
  • To relax, abandon yourself and to fear nothing
  • When faced with odds that cannot be dealt with, warriors retreat for a moment
  • A warrior compresses time – making every moment count, aiming at success and ready to make his last stand at any moment
  • A stalker never Pushes himself to the front – this last principle can only be applied with the implementation of the former six principles

The application of these principles results in three things:-

“The first is that stalkers learn never to take themselves seriously; they learn to laugh at themselves. If they’re not afraid of being a fool, they can fool anyone. The second is that stalkers learn to have endless patience. Stalkers are never in a hurry; they never fret. And the third is that stalkers learn to have an endless capacity to improvise.”

Don Juan also outlined the mood for stalking this being:- Ruthlessness, Cunning, Patience and Sweetness. This is the guiding attitude a warrior needs to adopt to stalk effectively.

One of the principle tools of stalking is recapitulation. This comprises the stalkers ‘sweeping breath’, the purpose of which is to free the warrior from the bonds of energetic filaments that become attached to them though energetic exchanges. The breath itself gives the life-giving healing force needed to purge the luminous being.

The aim of a stalker is to lose human form. This is can be achieved through a powerful recapitulation followed by implementation of the not-doings of the self such as erasing personal history, losing self-importance and breaking of routines.

The stalker is the epitome of a warrior in this way is both light and fluid. Free of human form the stalker is also unpredictable, deliberate in action, patient, not concerned about being understood nor concerned about the self-reflection of others – but instead this state allows the individual to be light-hearted and jovial and they truly enjoy their lives.

DREAMING ~

Dreaming is built on the premise that there is something called the ‘double’ or the ‘other’ and this is a replica of the warrior themselves. The important aspect of this concept is in being able to comprehend such idea. ‘Will’ is how the dreaming double is accessed and channelled and through ‘Will’ the dreaming double can become anything. The knowledge of this opens us to the concept that what we are in fact is an energetic configuration of energy fields or indeed as Don Juan called it ~ the luminous being.

The aim of the dreamer is to find themselves in dreaming. He achieves this with a simple manoeuvre; this is to find the hands in dreaming – which is to look down at the hands while asleep and to realize the dream state. The dreamer also hopes to actually see themselves dreaming. In this instant it is important to avoid the shock of experiencing such a thing. As with all things in dreaming the dreamer takes nonchalantly whatever he sees. The way anything is achieved in dreaming is through the volition of the dreamer. Once the dreamer has found their hands they next attempt to find a location within dreaming and with practice this can then be found in the waking experience.

There are as in all things various stages within dreaming. Don Juan sited these as:

  1. Restful vigil is the preliminary state, a state in which the senses become dormant and yet one is aware.”
  2.  “The second state is dynamic vigil. In this state one is left looking at a scene, a tableau of sorts, which is static. One sees a three-dimensional picture, a frozen bit of something – a landscape, a street, a house, a person, a face, anything.”
  3. “The third state is passive witnessing. In it the dreamer is no longer viewing a frozen bit of the world but is observing, eye witnessing, an event as it occurs. It is as if the primacy of the visual and auditory senses makes this state of dreaming mainly an affair of the eyes and ears.”
  4. “The fourth state is the one in which you are drawn to act. In it one is compelled to enterprise, to take steps, to make the most of one’s time. This state is called dynamic initiative.”

Quote from “The Eageles Gift”

As with all aspects of Don Juan’s teachings “stopping the internal dialogue” through the process of Not-doing is a vital component of dreaming. Dreaming requires then a quickened mind and the energy saved from talking to oneself allows one to dream.

Don Juan states also:

“The best way to enter into dreaming is to concentrate on the area just at the tip of the sternum, at the top of the belly. The attention needed for dreaming stems from that area. The energy needed in order to move and to seek in dreaming stems from the area an inch or two below the belly button. That energy is the will, or the power to select, to assemble. In a woman both the attention and the energy for dreaming originate from the womb.”

What one seeks in dreaming is not what one would pay attention to in everyday life. The shift into dreaming is achieved by anchoring the double to the second attention that being the attention of the nagual, The assemblage point makes a natural shift into this left side of awareness when one sleeps. The trick being to store attention in dreaming ~ this is to become totally immersed in the dream to the extent that one is totally detached from the waking experience.

There are seven gates of dreaming that must be crossed for the dreamer to gain mastery over their dreaming.

  • The first gate of dreaming is to gain control of ones attention in dreaming. The easiest way of doing this is through finding the hands in dreaming, this anchors the double in the second attention.
  • The second gate of dreaming is to learn how to wake up in the dream into yet another dream – enabling the dreamer to change dreaming locations entirely.
  • The third gate of dreaming is reached when you find yourself staring at someone in a dream and that someone turns out to be you. There are two stages to this gate. The first stage, is to arrive at the gate; the second is to cross it. By dreaming that you see yourself asleep, you arrive at the third gate. The second phase is to move around once you’ve seen yourself asleep.
  • The fourth gate of dreaming involves learning to use the energy body as a means of travel. This then be used to travel to “firstly concrete places in this world; two, to travel to concrete places out of this world; and, three, to travel to places that exist only in the intent of others.” 
  • The Fifth gate of dreaming is to be able to bring out the dreaming double in everyday life.
  • The sixth is to be able to transport the physical body to another location entirely
  • And the seventh is to be able to transcend the world entirely and to step beyond this world with the totality of oneself.

It takes years to master the arts of stalking and dreaming – it requires perseverance and only then comes about by practicing the disciplines that Don Juan prescribed. I have found that remembering direction is a key element. Not only in terms of a long perspective but on the basis of moment to moment orientation (in all planes of being simultaneously). Balancing ourselves and the forces in our world is also of prime importance. Understanding the relativistic and dualistic nature of reality. And coming to an understanding that nothing  essentially matters except perhaps the rule. Once we set out on this path there really is little alternative – when one begins to comprehend the knowledge it cannot then be unlearned, only expanded upon. One may run away but this is not the path with heart and ultimately you will have to pay for this. Understanding the concepts of control folly and controlled abandonment is key. In regard to stalking controlled folly is our shield and guards us against the rigors of power. Control abandonment Don Juan describes as being something simple and ‘there being nothing to it’. But controlled abandonment is in principle the art of sorcery specifically in the application of dreaming – the ability to acquiesce to the situation – to know how and in what proportion. We require both Controlled abandonment and controlled folly in both waking and dreaming – being able to give ourselves to the moment and in the same instance able to act to produce the best possible outcome.  A life lived like a warrior is unsurpassed – one becomes the master of oneself – the ego being defeated along the way. But as Don Juan says this can only be achieved without either rushing or faltering. The abstract will be achieved in time if one holds firm to the path with heart. But in the end reaching the spirit means there are really no devices one can cling to, no object, and no person. We have in the final outcome the say over our lives – it is our decision.

I am already given to the power that rules my fate.
And I cling to nothing, so I will have nothing to defend.
I have no thoughts, so I will see.
I fear nothing, so I will remember myself.
Detached and at ease,
I will dart past the Eagle
To be free


The Inorganic Beings

THE INORGANIC BEINGS ~

“The old shamans discovered that the entire universe is composed of twin forces, forces that are at the same time opposed and complementary to each other. It is inescapable that our world is a twin world. Its opposite and complementary world is one populated by beings that have awareness, but not an organism. For this reason, the old shamans called them inorganic beings.
I told you that it’s our twin world, so it’s intimately related to us. The sorcerers of ancient Mexico didn’t think like most do in terms of space and time. They thought exclusively in terms of awareness. Two types of awareness coexist without ever impinging on each other, because each type is entirely different from the other. The old shamans faced this problem of coexistence without concerning themselves with time and space. They reasoned that the degree of awareness of organic beings and the degree of awareness of inorganic beings were so different that both could coexist with the most minimal interference. ”

“The inorganic beings who populate our twin world are considered, by the sorcerers of our lineage, to be our relatives. Those shamans believed that it was futile to make friends with our family members because the demands levied on us for such friendships are always exorbitant. That type of inorganic being, who are our first cousins, communicate with us incessantly, but their communication with us is not at the level of conscious awareness. In other words, we know all about them in a subliminal way, while they know all about us in a deliberate, conscious manner.
The energy from our first cousins is a drag! They are as messed up as we are. Let’s say that the organic and inorganic beings of our twin worlds are the children of two sisters who live next door to each other. They are exactly alike although they look different. They cannot help us, and we cannot help them. Perhaps we could join together, and make a fabulous family business corporation, but that hasn’t happened. Both branches of the family are extremely touchy and take offence over nothing, a typical relationship between touchy first cousins. The crux of the matter, the sorcerers of ancient Mexico believed, is that both human beings and inorganic beings from the twin worlds are profound egomaniacs.
Another classification that the sorcerers of ancient Mexico made of the inorganic beings was that of scouts, or explorers; that is, the inorganic beings that come from the depths of the universe, and which are possessors of awareness infinitely sharper and faster than that of human beings. The old sorcerers spent generations polishing their classification schemes, and their conclusions were that certain types of inorganic beings from the category of scouts or explorers, because of their vivaciousness, were akin to man. They could make liaisons and establish a symbiotic relation with men. The old sorcerers called these kinds of inorganic beings the allies.”

“The crucial mistake of those shamans with reference to this type of inorganic being was to attribute human characteristics to that impersonal energy and to believe that they could harness it. They thought of those blocks of energy as their helpers, and they relied on them without comprehending that, being pure energy, they didn’t have the power to sustain any effort.
I’ve told you all there is to know about inorganic beings. The only way you can put this to the test is by means of direct experience.”

Extract from “The Active Side of Infinity” by Carlos Castaneda


Find the Hands in Dreaming

I first found my hands in dreaming about 12 years ago. It was not for a want of trying that it took me so long to achieve. I would practice setting up dreaming before falling asleep most nights, I would remind myself that the purpose of my dreaming was to find my hands, I would often wear a dreaming headband, and attempt to watch myself falling asleep. I invested in a Spirit Catcher and kitted it out with a Quartz, I even tried attaching a quartz crystal to the top of my head while sleeping, as recommended by Don Juan.

The results were pitiful however. Nightly I would fall asleep and enter dreaming. I was dreaming frequently and fairly lucidly at the time, but at no point would I remember the instruction to find my hands. It seems I would never become aware enough that I was actually within a dream. I was getting close however I felt a tension was starting to build within my dreaming experience.

There was one dreamscape/location, I kept returning to. I would be standing outside of a house, aware vegetation was growing out of it; perhaps a plant or tree, something that seemed very familiar to me. I would be standing on a path that led past the bay windows of the house, I even remember looking in on one occasion. I could not make it any further up the path however, something would end the dream. But it was in this location that I eventually managed to realise that I was asleep which prompted me to act – and I found my hands. The process was initially that I looked straight ahead – in awe of the fact that I had managed to realise I was dreaming. I felt very alive at that point, I could even feel the gravel of the path beneath my feet and realise I was somewhere else altogether. I then immediately looked down at my hands, inspecting them – the lines on my hands seemed to jump out at me. I became engrossed in studying my palms then turned them over….

At that moment the dream location changed. I cannot recall how many locations I travelled to. I seemed to be flying from one to another. Various things were happening at each location I found myself in, but I was limited by the amount of time I was there to how much I could recall. The general theme was that I was on a ‘night out’. I do remember going with friends to a bar, being thrown out then stumbling away down the street. But with this like all the locations I travelled to, I would suddenly be whipped away and would ‘fly’ somewhere else. I ended up in an alley, looking down at myself from above, but aware at the same time that it was myself I was looking at. Presumably exhausted by my night-time aeronautics I sat there till the friends I had been drinking with turned up to collect me. At which point I awoke, in astonishment and particularly happy with my success.

“Journey to Ixtlan”

“I am going to teach you how to set up dreaming.”

“You must start by doing something very simple,” he said. “Tonight in your dreams you must look at your hands.” I laughed out loud. His tone was so factual that it was as if he were telling me to do something commonplace.  “Why do you laugh?” he asked with surprise. “How can I look at my hands in my dreams?”..

“Very simple, focus your eyes on them just like this.” He bent his head forward and stared at his hands with his mouth open. His gesture was so comical that I had to laugh. “Seriously, how can you expect me to do that?” I asked “The way I’ve told you,” he snapped. “You can, of course, look at whatever you goddamn please…

…I asked him to give me some pointers. “There aren’t any pointers,” he said. “Just look at your hands.”

“When they begin to change shape you must move your sight away from them and pick something else, and then look at your hands again. It takes a long time to perfect this technique.”


Lucid Dreaming & O.B.E

Many moons ago I had what could be termed the first of my extra-sensory experiences…I was informed by a friend of mine about a technique he described as something that would enable ‘dream navigation’. He told me this technique and said that I had to stick to it very rigidly but if you did it was almost guaranteed to work. I had been working on developing my dreaming, so one night I went to bed and decided to try the technique. This is what he told me:

‘To lie very still in bed, close your eyes and keep them closed, in your mind count backwards from 100 down to 1, but actually picturing the numbers in your mind as they go past and count very slowly. As you are doing this examine every part of your anatomy, starting with your feet – become aware of every part of the body working upwards to the head (sort of saying goodbye to each part of the body as you examine it). Then as the numbers get down to one in your head imagine a ‘Door’ in the centre of your mind. Really picture the door in every detail, the handle the frame, the door itself – then once you have this door fixed in your mind open it and step through!’

astral projection

Well the effect of this was dramatic – As I tried to synchronise all the different activities to reach a kind moment of singularity – I felt my body going to sleep, but my mind was clear. I went into full sleep paralysis with my mind full aware, my body seemingly unconscious. At the moment I imagine the door I realised I was then dreaming but in a strange place as I could see the room in my mind’s eye but it was not exactly like my room, the door seemed to appear in the air above me, I opened it and to my astonishment there was a white light behind it which was exceedingly bright. I remember the door and the light clearly to this day. I then had the sensation of lifting out of my body fully detached from my waking body – I tried to go through the door – I felt I did but also in a sense could not. I saw the room clearly. At this point my courage gave out and I wanted back to my waking body. I seem to remember counting again and coming back to sensation in my body and in time to full wakefulness once again.

The experience kicked off everything for me. It gave me an understanding of the dynamics of dreaming to a large extent – that we enter into another world during dreaming that there is a cord that binds our waking body and the dreaming body and that we can traverse this cord with enough skill and precision (or even given the right advice). That we are not trapped in this reality but called to traverse a multi-layered reality that includes dream scape. There then is the possibility to become aware of our dreaming and to actual navigate through this immense area of our sub-consciousness.
 


My Vision of Ganesh

Last year in 2010, I went to Kathmandu, and stayed with a friend I know living out there; a born Nepalese man who befriended me in 2007 when I first visited Nepal. My stay was for a month the purpose of which to trek and take photographs of Kathmandu. Prior to this I had been sent a video by an internet friend. The video was called the ‘Psychoactivity the Fountain of culture’ and is of a lecture by Christine Ratsch regarding the use of psychedelics by the Shamans of Nepal (and other related shamanic practises).
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Shamanism in Nepal is rare but is still a living tradition. Nepal is mainly a Buddhist and Hindu country, but these two religions sit very comfortably along side one another and in my experience it is just as likely that a Buddhist would accept elements of Hinduism into their religious and spiritual practise as well as vice versa. Nepal is home to over sixty distinct ethnic and linguistic tribal groups, more than half of which practice some form of shamanism apparently with an unbroken line of tradition dating all the way back to the Stone Age. It is likely that many of the healing practices of Buddhism and Hinduism share a common origin with Himalayan shamanism. However, Nepalese shamans belong to different religious groups and do not see themselves or their shamanic roles as “religious”.
The Newari shamans (jhankri) say that “the way of the shaman is the way of love”. They seek to bring love, harmony and peace to those who suffer from diseases of a spiritual nature, like the shamans the world over. As in other cultures, the shamans role is recognized by the community, not claimed by the individual: he is only a jhankari because others are healed by him, not because he says he can heal them.
There is another shamanic practice called the Kirati shaman (or mangpa) His role is generally to invoking the spirits, to remember his roots in nature, and to put his actions to the service of the good; this is mundum, the path of the shaman. Both these groups believe that the Path of the Shaman was brought to the world by Shiva, and that people are called, rather than chosen to be shamans. The chosen person may try to avoid the call because he knows it will mean a difficult life. The jhankri have everyday occupations like everyone else, but must make themselves available for healing work at the “transition times” of the day: at daybreak, or just after sundown.
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Well the trip went well. I arrived and my friend picked up at the airport. We trekked in the Himalayas as planned, in the Annapurna region. I had mentioned to Hari, that I was interested in meeting a shaman and did he know anyone who could arrange it? He gave me no indication that he did and I wasn’t even sure whether he knew what I was talking about. We came down from the trek and arrived back in Kathmandu. Then one day Hari told me in rather a quiet manner, not only did he know what I was talking about but he actually knew a practising shaman. This was a man in the community, somebody I had already met. Although the person he was referring to seemed to have a normal life, job, and family, Hari, rather dramatically said this man was into black magic and was a shaman and that I could meet up with him for one of his ceremonies.
It was sunset and we were sitting in a bar and the man came in. He greeted me and then quite nonchalantly went off to sit with his back to me, only looking over and staring occasionally. We drank quite a lot that evening. I was keen however to meet the man properly and witness the ceremony. After a while of knocking back the potent Nepalese wine, Hari informed me we were to go to the back room of the establishment. It was very dark and candles were sort. For a while we sat in the pitch black in an eerie silence. Then the candles arrived as did the shaman. Without further hesitation he took some very hard pulls on what looked like a cigarette but which could have been anything. He lit some joss sticks and started chanting in a language I did not recognise and banged a drum as he went along. After a time he seemed to go into something of a trance. Then there was a pause – the man looked exhausted. The whole ceremony lasted about forty five minutes. Finally I thanked him and was ushered out of the room.
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I thought no more of this – I trusted Hari as a good friend and knew he wouldn’t introduce me to a fraud. But somehow it seemed uneventful considering the build up. We went home and I carried on with my holiday.
The principles of the shamans of Nepal is that they have been given a mantra by Ganesh – the god of the shaman, that allows them access to the spirit world. Some days later I was having a smoke of some potent hash late at night. I was staying with Hari and his family and we all slept in the same room. This night everybody had gone to bed and I was the last one up smoking on the balcony. I turned in at around 2 am and went quickly to sleep.
The dream I then entered was an amazing one –
I was in a cartoon like environment with a river flowing through it, it was like a painting someone was imagining. The world and his wife seemed to be there, everybody in fancy dress; dressed as a superheroes. At one point I went into a side room of the dream and met my brother who was dressed as a mad scientist (he’s a doctor in real life). I was shown another room with my other brother dressed likewise as a superhero his costume being something like a news reporter hack (he is a journalist). I came back to the river that seemed to wind off into the distance in a slightly apocalyptic setting. Even President Obama was there dressed as ‘Obamaman’, he was wearing a mask and had a big ‘O’ on his chest with a suit that had underpants on the outside as all good superheroes do!
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From this I awoke. I had another smoke and remarked to myself how vivid this dream was and how well I remembered it. I went back to sleep and straight away went headlong into what can only be described as the second half of the dream. I was on the first floor of a building which was somewhat abstract in its design. I couldn’t work out its purpose, something like an office or perhaps a hospital. But I had no time as soon as I realised I was there I was under attack. The place was being bombarded by all manner of unlikely assailants. I could see myself in the dreaming position as from behind and above looking down on myself. I managed to rally the other occupants of the building to block the invaders. Greater and greater foes came to try and get into the building and all the while what ever came to attack us we repelled. Finally the special forces were called for but failed to gain access.
The dream at this moment melted into the abstract altogether. I was suddenly in an underworld – a dark red environment. Across a chasm which was not very deep but filled with many countless people, I could see clearly the image of Ganesh. Ganesh like his statue had many arms and an elephants head. He was a deep red in colour and was moving – swaying.. I suddenly realised not swaying but SHIMMERING…
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The vision of Ganesh was engulfing – Ganesh was alive!! – I had a moments thought or rather I was able to focus on what I was seeing and realised he was in fact a statue…But the equally I suddenly understood that the statue itself was ALIVE! – It Shimmered harder and harder and to my disbelief a mantra started following forth from my mouth. I woke with this mantra still on my lips. I was utterly amazed and realised the possible connection of this dream, the Mantra and the Shaman.
The shamans of Nepal believe Ganesh being the son of Shiva is the God of the Shaman; since he too has gone through the transition of death and rebirth akin to that of the shaman. Ganesh is the Lord of success and destroyer of evils and obstacles. Ganesha’s head symbolizes the Atman or the soul, which is the ultimate supreme reality of human existence, while his human body signifies Maya or the earthly existence of human beings. The story of Ganesh is that once goddess Parvati, while bathing, created a boy out of the dirt of her body and assigned him the task of guarding the entrance to her bathroom. When Shiva, her husband returned, he was surprised to find a stranger denying him access, and struck the boy’s head off in rage. Parvati broke down in utter grief and to soothe her, Shiva sent out his squad (gana) to fetch the head of any sleeping being who was facing the north. The company found a sleeping elephant and brought back its severed head, which was then attached to the body of the boy. Shiva restored its life and made him the leader (pati) of his army. Hence his name ‘Ganapati’. Shiva also bestowed a boon that people would worship him and invoke his name before undertaking any venture.
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I discussed this dream with a friend on my return to the UK, someone I know who is very much into divination, shamanism and dream interpretation. He said the first part of the dream – the superheroes, was like that of the real self – that identity being like that of the soul the ‘Atman’ I presume. He also told me that the second half of the dream the invincibility was like the manifestation of this identity. It was like the opening of a gateway to me another rebirth – at this point I realised I was everything I had set out to be or that in some way I was going to become – the real self perhaps.
“Psychoactivity the fountain of culture”:-