The role of the shaman has always been to cross the border into the realm of the not-yet-know and bring it back into cognition. Along the way, the shaman may encounter cultural or emotional taboos. It is one reason why the healer exists—to cross the border, retrieve missing information, find links, act as guide. In an era where many systems are threatening collapse, it is more important than ever to re-discover how to search the invisible—what we sense is around us but can’t quite see.
(This is the kind of condition carers of young children exist in for quite a long time.)
The whole universe is trying to communicate, to live in exchange. The philosopher-biologist Charles Birch, observing the behaviour of organisms, insisted that seeking relationship is the core impulse of all of our cells. From microorganisms, to birds’ patterns of emigration and the habits of waterfalls, we have so much we can learn. It is useful to reflect on how much or little we have developed our perceptions.
One day, in clinic, someone came to see me whose tract of land was poisoned, and by reading the “map” of her land from the energy in her body, I was able to help her plan strategies to cleanse the water and soil. To a scientist, this might sound spurious, but I tell you: our body is interconnected with all we live with, and can become a map which shares and distributes this information in different modalities. Just as musical instruments capture the adjustment of a player’s fingers or mouth, the human body can be a conduit for all sorts of information. The trick is learning how to receive and interpret what information it gives.
People come to clinic with questions arising from their senses, their intuitions, but which they can’t answer themselves. There is a blockage to understanding. Why can’t these things be seen?
Like a hologram, our bodies carry the seeds of most of the information we need to achieve change, to re-enter a place of flow. I see myself as someone who has trained her vision to see as much of the hologram as possible, and render it accessible.
The principal of equivalence refers not just to an attitude to things outside of ourselves—respect for nature, and others—but to components within as well. This principle, as an active consciousness, helps response-ability-—i.e., the ability to respond with more resilience, more options, more variety and creativity. We can expand our repertoire of things we can do and achieve. Each organism, each element can move towards its own more Optimal Function. It is much more productive than living with ideals. It opens doorways to very creative thinking.
Training is thus a life-practice, an ethical practice, and a creative practice, as well as a practice which can help in times of illness or dis-ease.
Sometimes, though, the work can be very ordinary: providing relief from muscular pain; or a change of thinking. The difference in these instances lies in the depth of transformation and how supported, effective and integrated such trasnformations can be.
I want you to look closely at this image. It is a map of the human body, according to healers in ancient Tibet. The reach of the energy meridians goes far beyond the confines of our physical outline. Such is the force of our energy fields, our influence; imagine therefore how much force, wisdom and information is within its reach.