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Shamanism Without Beliefs

Shamanism Without BeliefsbyMichael Drake

Shamanism is the spiritual practice of ecstasy. Ecstasy is defined as a mystic, prophetic, or poetic trance. Practitioners focus on voluntarily entering altered states of consciousness in which they access personal revelation and spiritual experience. The aim of shamanism is to connect with your essence. Like Buddhism and Taoism, shamanism is about remembering, exploring, and developing the true self. Shamanism places emphasis on the individual, of breaking free and discovering one's own uniqueness in order to bring something new back to the group.

When a practitioner has rigid beliefs about shamanism, they aren't practicing shamanism. The rigidity of beliefs (dogmatism) moves a belief system into the realm of a religion, but shamanism is not a religion. Religion is any cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, world views, texts, sanctified places, ethics, or organizations that relate humanity to the supernatural or transcendental. The cultural imprinting of a religion leaves the individual outside the realm of personal spiritual experience.

Shamanism has no hierarchy, no prophets, no temples, no scriptures, and no dogma. There is no dogmatic creed because but shamanic practice demands your active participation in creating an organic, evolving vision of the world. Shamanism requires no faith in anything but your own experience of it. Rigid thinking will only keep you stuck in a narrow perspective, distorting your perceptions of reality. Rigidity is resistance, and resistance will shut you down, block your connection with inner truth, and prevent you from seeing the true nature of the universe.

So if you want to have beliefs about shamanism, that's fine, but you need to set them aside when you practice shamanic trance. The shamanic state of consciousness (SSC) disengages you from the rigid patterns that suppress the manifestations of individualism. Ecstatic trance enables you to participate directly in the work of encountering and transforming your inner structure, which mirrors your culture. Structure determines how energy will flow, where it will be directed, and what new forms and structures will be created. Through the transformation of your inner landscapes, you transform the external landscapes. You create new forms, new structures that are not based on hierarchy, estrangement, and exploitation. You renew the sacred hoop of harmony and balance. This is the work of the shaman.

About the author:
Michael Drake is an internationally recognized writer and recording artist. He is the author of The Shamanic Drum: A Guide to Sacred Drumming and Shamanic Drumming Circles Guide. To learn more visit ShamanicDrumming.com.

 

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