by Alberto Villoldo
from RealitySandwich Website
you are your dreams.
Several decades ago, I was a medical anthropologist doing research in the Amazon rainforest.
My salary and expenses were paid for by a research grant from a pharmaceutical company hoping to find the bark or root that could become the next great cancer cure. After all, the jungle is natureís pharmacy, filled with exotic plants whose powers have yet to be discovered.
I spent many months canoeing to villages that had seldom seen a white man and wherever I went, I found there was no cancer or heart disease, even in the elders of the communities.
Clearly, the indigenous people of the area knew something about health that we westerners didnít know.
What was their secret?
I learned there was a magic ingredient to health that could be found in the rainforest, but it would not fit in a backpack. It was shamanic medicine. It was, the shamans told me, the medicine that would allow a person to become like the jaguar (below video).
And it could only be found in the invisible world of Spirit...
It was only after years of studying with indigenous
healers, or shamans, that I began to comprehend what they were
The new perspective you develop as a result of this ecstatic, exhilarating experience is like an awakening to a new reality that has been hidden from you: the invisible world of your soul and Spirit. For the Buddhists the natural outcome of this experience is compassion. For the shaman, it is stewardship of the Earth.
The experience of bliss, while
wonderful, is not a goal. Dreaming a world of healing and beauty
into being is.
The LEF can be thought of as the software that informs your DNA, the hardware, to repair your body.
Before taking shamanic medicine, your LEF simply creates your body (and your psych-spiritual reality) according to the instructions you inherited from your parents. It replicates the heart conditions, the breast conditions, and the psychological stories and dramas that cut across generations.
Despite our longing to see ourselves as
different, better, more enlightened than our parents, we continue to
live out their pathetic health and psychological issues. We live the
way they lived and die the way they died.
Your inability to forgive your mother or your former spouse and move on, causes a mark in your LEF that remains there after the physical body dies, so it's carried into the next lifetime.
This wound will draw you to the parents you'll be born through, or a similar spouse, in order to manifest the family that will allow you the opportunity to heal yourself.
If you don't take advantage of the opportunity to upgrade the quality of the information in your LEF, and choose instead to stay stuck in the same old belief of Mom ruined my life, or the stork dropped me off at the wrong home, the wound remains unhealed, and you wind up with the reasons why you can't have what you want.
In the East this is known
as karma. Not a good way to go
through life. Much better to take shamanic medicine.
We can no longer access the brain-mind
states necessary to experience unity with all creation, and upgrade
the quality of our LEF. No matter how long we meditate or how many
times we chant OM the invisible world of Spirit eludes us. Avalon
has been lost in the mist. The sacred Machu Picchu has vanished into
Shamanic medicine awakens you to the invisible world of energy where everything is intertwined, an entangled Universe where every thought you have impacts every molecule in the cosmos, including every cell in your body. After youíve experienced it, you cease to identify exclusively with your body and your roles in the visible, physical world.
You are born into a new life, one in which you recognize your Christ-like, Buddha-like, eternal nature.
This process of awakening can also be described as killing the infidel:
When you experience shamanic medicine, you come to recognize what Carl Jung described as the collective unconscious that exists within you. You recognize that youíre not just intertwined with all of Creation; it is inside you.
The idea that you have to look out for
number one, and damage the earth or hurt others in order to survive,
is incomprehensible once youíve experienced shamanic medicine.
Itís not exactly easy to work through a To Do list when you are in a state of Timelessness and Oneness with all, experiencing your interconnectedness with the cosmos.
But once you experience your
interconnectedness with all, what you put on your To Do list will
change - and your ability to follow it and not unknowingly sabotage
yourself will improve.
You focus on everyday activities or choose to experience your unity with Spirit again - whatever it is you need in any particular moment. And whatever you are doing or not doing, you are fully present in the experience instead of longing for or thinking about whether there is something better out there.
Then, your dreams are no longer rescue fantasies that involve other people changing their behavior and attitudes. Instead, you have visions of living authentically and imaginatively, liberated from the dictates of your culture or your fear.
You begin to dream a new world into being.
When we are awake, we are sound asleep in the invisible field where dreams happen. Dreams, and the ecstatic experience women occasionally have during childbirth, are the only way ordinary persons have to learn about the invisible realm. And even these images and experiences are often fleeting, leaving us as we make our way to the coffee maker from the bedroom.
When we dream we are in a timeless world, one minute encountering our long-deceased parents, the next traversing some fantastic yet familiar landscape.
Shamanic medicine awakens the awareness of your invisible self, a self devoid of body or form, which resides outside of ordinary time.
Even if you are falling or flying, there is no-body falling, only a sense of falling or flight.
This is how
you are in the invisible world, which is a selfless expanse,
infinite and blissful. It is only in the visible world that we bump
into tables, fall off cliffs or encounter suffering and disease.
Yet in reality, we always reside in timelessness, dropping in to the visible world of time and physical matter in the course of our many incarnations, in our journey toward omniscience.
Paradoxically, we can only make progress in our journey
to omniscience during our lifetimes in the visible world. Thus the shamans insistence on
responsibility for the physical well-being and stewardship of all
life, and of Mother Earth.
These are topics that in the West we have associated with religion. Yet shamanism is not a religion. Shamanism is more concerned with creation than with the Creator, about understanding the nature of the self unfettered from the limitation of time.
The two can coexist, but you donít need the template of religion to be aware of your spiritual nature and allow it to inform you.
Thereís an old proverb:
When I was in graduate school I worked as a psychologist for Head Start Schools, a program for five to seven year old children from poor families. On the first day of school, I would ask the kids to draw a house.
They sketched the most amazing houses, inside clouds, under the ocean, even inside a doughnut! At the end of the year I would ask them again to draw a house and almost to the last child they would draw a square with a triangle roof with two windows and a door.
It was so disappointing to see how their originality and creativity had been squashed. They had adopted the belief that all houses look like that, even though many of them lived in run-down apartments.
A belief is about a single theme.
A personal mythology can contain a
hundred different beliefs. And these children were beginning to
embrace a personal mythology that compelled them to think like
everyone else, and not dare to be different. Remember when you were
15 and dressed like everyone of your friends did, and you thought
you looked Ďuniqueí and Ďdifferent?í
And every mythology answers three basic questions:
Christian mythology once offered us the best explanation to these questions, saying,
Yet religion has now,
Yet neither of these explanations is entirely satisfactory, because they donít tell me about my journey.
This is why each of us develops a personal mythology, which is the deepest beliefs you hold about who you really are, where you really came from, where you are really going, and how healthy you will be getting there. Itís difficult for us to recognize our personal myths, even while we readily identify the oneís of our culture.
But thatís important if itís not working for you and you want to change your health or your life. Because these mythic maps become self-fulfilling prophecies.
Have you noticed how easy it is to come up with solutions for everyone elseís problems, but how difficult it is to solve your own?
We know what it takes to end hunger in America, what the president should do, and how to bring peace to the Middle East. Yet we canít solve the crisis with our spouse or children. In the brief one-hundred years since the invention of psychotherapy, scholars have called our personal myths by many names, including unconscious complexes, inner drives, and even sub personalities.
In the thousand years of shamanic medicine, shamans discovered that your personal myth must become a story of a heroís journey - of sacrificing, facing challenges, overcoming tests, and working in synch with the divine to triumph over suffering.
When our personal myths are not heroic, we remain disempowered victims, and the mercy of others and the whims of fate.
And while psychiatrists believe it is very difficult if not impossible to change the unconscious forces that drive our behavior, shamans know that you can change your personal mythology into a heroic one.
You do this by experiencing shamanic
By experiencing shamanic medicine,