What kind of walls are we trying to break here

Toegevoegd door Saskia Beugel op 05-03-2010 om 01:52

And what does Shamanism have to do with it? am talking about feelings and concepts. We don’t have to choose one over another, and yet we often do just that. We do that thanks to the conditioning of modern civilization. Article by Olga Kharitidi

Source: Olga Kharitidi

I am talking about feelings and concepts.  We don’t have to choose one over another, and yet we often do just that. We do that thanks to the conditioning of modern civilization. At some point, a gap was created between feeling and “critical thinking”, and even though it produced all things abstract and useful, it is also responsible for the modern pattern of experience that often causes suffering, personally and collectively, by fostering our separation from the way we feel.

As we grow and learn in an established paradigm, we gradually suppress our direct sensual experience and eventually exclude it altogether from planning and decision-making, substituting it with ideas, concepts and values provided to us by others. This would be fine, as it has been for a while, if the predicament were still functional. But it is not any more. Our relationship with our feelings and our relationship with our thinking (and yes we do have relationships with both) are dysfunctional for most. Feelings are ignored, feared, and repressed, while concepts (basically infused into our minds as “values” by external invasion) are running amok and making us codependent on them.

When we cut off part of the totality of our experience in order to please another part (as kids often do in relation to parents), we are bound to suffer, one way or another. I am absolutely certain of it. Why? Simple: I’ve been there and done that.

So what is the solution? Certainly not in switching roles and suppressing conceptual thinking and letting feelings have their ride – it probably wouldn’t create much good for one to certainly abandon thinking and follow sensual impulses blindly. The solution is in overcoming an either-or, black-and-white dichotomy of experience and learning to integrate all parts of the experience into new feeling-states.

And I believe that Shamanism can be particularly helpful in “breaking the walls” of our involuntary mental confinement.

Shamanism, as practiced in tribes, is not a more advanced system compared to our framework. It is not less advanced either. It is a representation of another type of experience. The reason why I write about Shamanism is because I believe there is a huge potential for us to learn from it and find ways to integrate their experiential knowledge with our conceptual thinking. Just like Carlos Castaneda did. We can integrate our Western capacity for conceptual thinking with ancient traditions of organizing feelings. This is what I think Shamanism does – it organizes feelings.   How exactly does it do it? Through images, symbols and metaphors.

That is why I personally prefer to have a relationship with Mnemosyne, for example, to entrust her to help me sort out my problems when I need to rather than sticking to some “value” or mental concept that was injected into me by one system or another. Because my relationship with Mnemosyne is alive and dynamic and She is after all the Creator of thought forms and the Guardian of concepts who gave names to everything. I just think I make better choices this way, because it enables me to experience more liberty and happiness as I go through life.

I can almost hear some of your objections at this point: “And what about values, responsibilities, morals?”

What about them? They are not Gods, they are just ideas, most of the time somebody else’s ideas.   But if we examine them with our innermost feelings and retain only those that are congruent to our sense of self (meaning that they feel right to our core), then they can become our personal Gods and Guardians and Guides, in a healthy and happy way. Easier said than done. You bet. It took me sixteen years to come full circle and to finally realize this liberty in myself through much pain, doubt, confusion, and denial. But it was all worth it. Because the sense of liberty that we get when we “break the walls” of mental indoctrination brings so much happiness and feels so right that my only hope is that there are ways to help other people make the same steps a little faster and with less pain, because the more happiness we experience here the more it will grow for everyone.



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Saskia Beugel

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