I’d like to post something as food for thought.
Through my own experiences in my life, I’ve come to believe that we are living in a very important time for our species. What’s happening now will either make us or break us, to put it simply. I’m thinking that perhaps for this reason, the collective unconscious is more readily accessed today than ever before. I feel that there’s an underlying influence, call it what you will- that is pushing us, with a silent encouragement, to evolve and grow before it’s too late. I’ve interacted with several people who have found themselves on something of a crash-course recently of vast leaps in their own personal development; devout people suddenly changing their minds about what they were raised to believe, people with hard-lined definitions in their minds about what’s possible suddenly being open to new ideas, and notably Shamans emerging from many places and walks of life- all seeming to be learning and progressing at rollercoaster speed.
In ages past, the Seeker was put through trials and lessons that involved long periods of time, perhaps because there was simply more of it. There was also a necessity I think, of having time to let things sink in; to allow for the individual’s mind to accept the data at a pace that was safe for his or her sanity. There was patience, the world was smaller and more community-based, and the tasks ahead were also simpler and closer to home. The Shaman in our present time, however, faces an entirely different world; there’s a much more urgent agenda than finding the buffalo herd to sustain your close family through the winter or dreaming the correct concoction of herbs to cure the local sickness or infection.
Where before there were Teachers known locally to whom the individuals were brought to learn and be guided, today we are so many and too few of us have that local Teacher. Patience and time have been replaced by the urgency of an imminent global survival situation. I feel that there is a danger here for those individuals however, as they grasp and try to find explanations or guidance necessary to understand what’s happening in themselves while living in the modern world.
Personally I have found it easier lately to access the collective unconscious and I’m seeing evidence of this in others too; it even sometimes seems to be happening by accident! Among other things we do and experience as Shamans, this can be incredibly confusing and even misleading for the individual who is grasping for understanding without a Teacher.
The collective unconscious experience can vary by individual perception; and can even be experienced in different ways by the same person. For example, I have spoken to some who have seen through the eyes of people in history, sometimes famous people- and the inexperienced may construe this as evidence of a past life. I’ve met more than one former “Jesus” this way, and more famous people than the guest list at the Oscars. . Seeing through someone else’s eyes can easily give the untaught person a feeling of “this is/was Me, specifically” rather than simply having accessed a memory in the collective unconscious that is available to anyone. Others who access that same memory, may see it from the perspective of a fly on the wall. Sometimes the same memory you accessed before will be from a different perspective the next time!
Accessing the collective unconscious is just one example. Another would be the many new Shamans who tend to prescribe psychedelic herbs/concoctions for seemingly any ailment- from pain issues to depression to even mental disorders. And doing this in an internet discussion setting, without any sort of personal interaction? How much more irresponsible, unethical and just plain silly can you get. The untaught can do a whole lot of harm by trying to be who they are not yet become.
I think it’s important to realize that as so many people are being pushed by that influence into areas of ability that they don’t understand, the effects can be detrimental rather than constructive. Without training to let go of the Self, there are many people with very real abilities and potential who are caught up in what they see and experience. Some throw memories from the collective unconscious around like a resume, akin to bolstering their own opinion and reputation with the memory of a specific tv show they watched- when any of us could go and watch the exact same show. Some go a lil nuts simply by the realization that not everyone can do what they are doing, and go way overboard. Some rationalize that they must be here to teach the rest of us like some kind of messiah, when they’re actually in need of guidance themselves. Some have a psychedelic experience and are awakened by it- and consider this enough to begin helping others along (usually by prescribing the same psychedelic experience) who may not be at all ready for that. I feel that it’s too easy for a “new” Shaman, without the guidance of a Teacher, to bubble over with information and newfound, untrained ability and spread their wings before they’ve grown feathers.
I’m pointing all this out because I think it’s important for all of us, at this point in time in our world, to be Honest, Honorable and Love ourselves and each other. To those of us with experience, there are many who need your guidance! To those of us who need guidance, seek it- do it honestly and openly. I feel that in order for us all to survive, we need to Teach, and in turn be willing to learn. It is absolutely essential for our future, to let go of the Self and realize that we are going to either survive together or fail together.
-- SpiralHawk (Daryl Roy)