“The goal is to invert the relationship of body and soul. So that the body becomes an image in the imagination, and the soul becomes an exteriorized solid-state piece of circuitry that maintains everything else in stasis… what one would see, if there were an exterior observer, is only that man had become a coral reef of circuitry on the planetary surface.” ~Terence McKenna.
Based on the Medicine Wheel, which appears in Native cultures throughout the world, this book outlines the life cycles, in some of the most beautiful, eco-centric language I have ever heard. If you are curious what ecotherapy is, this book is a great sample.
Many spiritual and tribal traditions throughout the world have some kind of map of the life cycles, highlighting the importance and significance of different phases. In Western societies, we generally lack maps of psychic space, or rituals for community recognition of passages through the different phases. There is a vague trajectory of the standard or ideal American lifetime: school, job, marriage, family, retirement, etc. But the map presented in this book (and held in many indigenous societies) is soul-centric and eco-centric. This is opposed to the linear timeline our society holds, which is, (because we are such an individualistic society,) based on ego and industrial achievement. Collectivist societies are very caring of the natural world which sustains them. Progress is measured not only by the achievement of the individual, but also in how it simultaneously supports the natural world and the community as a whole. If individual progress or achievement compromises the wellbeing of the environment or the community, it is no achievement at all. An eco-centric model of development assumes that these phases of development are preeminent. That is to say, they exist before us and despite us. They are intrinsic to Nature itself. A soul-centric model of development implies that the community prioritizes the Soul over the ego. That is to say, it prioritizes our personal aspect that is inter-dimensional and indestructible…our heart-centered essence we can feel when we are most aligned with our integrity and the universe. Indigenous and collectivist societies base the course of our development on the uncovering of our soul’s purpose in this lifetime, and the carrying out of different tasks the soul finds it necessary to undergo in order to manifest its purpose in the world. This is a very different and compelling model than most Westerners are familiar with.
If you want a view into the indigenous wisdom that existed pre-colonization, read his books. To start with, I would recommend his autobiographical piece, Of Water and the Spirit. Somé is from the Dagara tribe of Burkina Faso in west Africa. In accordance with prophecy, he was kidnapped by missionaries in his youth, through which process he lost much of his connection with his tribal roots. Then when he was a young adult he returned home to remember, and be initiated in the medicinal ways of his people. “Malidoma” means he who makes friends with the enemy. With his Western education and traditional indigenous wisdom, Somé spans a bridge between the two worlds. He shares African indigenous wisdom with Westerners in a way they can understand. I had no idea JUST how rich and beautiful the pre-colonial world he depicts would be. It is incredible what magic has been lost. Reading his books is a beautiful way to reawaken our own tribal and shamanic memory, that lies just beneath the surface.
I just stumbled upon this woman’s videos and they are amazing!! She talks about a level beyond ego, and I can absolutely feel that she is speaking from there in her presence. It is rare to see someone coming from there that is not a well known teacher or elder. Given her age and social location, she talks about things in a way I find to be very relatable to the young, modern, Westerner… perhaps more so than some of the teachers of old.
When I started grad school for counseling psychology three years ago I started having all these dreams about pooping in public. Someone was always poking their head out from above the adjacent stall to talk to me, or there was no stall door at all, or the door was so short you could see everything but about a foot of my torso. What I took away from these dreams was that I was doing so much inter-personal processing in my training that was exposing so much of what for years I had kept hidden from others… Continue reading →
So part of me has always grappled with Teal Swan and I couldn’t figure out exactly why. This video is the real stuff. She cuts through most of her teachings (which are about the surface layer of spirituality: how to master your reality,) and talks about how to surrender to the universe. This goes beyond cultivating happiness— this is about ending suffering. It is one of the most beautiful and raw videos I have ever seen about spirituality.
Amazing movie made about Native people, by Native people. Most films about Native Americans are produced by White filmmakers and make Native people out to be one-dimensional characters like the primitive, unsophisticated, caveman-like Tontos, savage warriors, mysterious shamans and witch doctors, exotic native women, and mythological creatures of the past. This movie however, was produced by an all-native team and has no colonial filters, nor elements of white America. The characters are complex and human as they should be. The film tells the tale of an Inuit legend, while also being a love story. It is a beautiful view into Inuit life hundreds of years ago. Enjoy…
Best documentary I have seen in a long time. It’s about how Native people have been portrayed in film over time, and how this has impacted people’s perception of them, including Native people’s perception of themselves. Poignant, hilarious, and fierce!!
The ironic thing is that we look for evidence to validate our notion that we are bad. We see someone look at us funny and say, I knew it… nobody likes me. We think this somehow keeps us humble (we dare not think too highly of ourselves!) By putting ourselves down in this way, we think we are keeping ourselves closer to God. Continue reading →