I’m feeling inspired by Inuit culture these days and learning more about their shamanic beliefs. In support of this I made my tiniest needle felted animal yet — an itty bitty spotted seal. Tiny needle felting is pretty difficult!
I often speak of my meditation-prayer, which is just to inhale thinking “Thank you” and exhale thinking “Bless you”. It is a simple thing, but how much energy you can pack into it and expand upon the practice is nearly infinite.
Since I love making spiritual tools, or pretty art pieces that have some function, I came up with the idea of a breath work “hour glass” — a rattle that you can use to help you breathe slowly and deeply for meditation. The motion of turning the rattle with each breath also helps if you need a little more stimulation during meditation and don’t like to keep completely still!
This my first prototype:
The higher self can be viewed as a fractal, of which you are one single iteration. I believe the higher self ultimately transcends space and time, containing every possible version of your soul in every possible circumstance, across all possible realities and parallel universes. The essence of your soul, the one thing that ties all these potential versions of you together, is thus revealed in the shape of the fractal and describes your soul’s purpose.
Yet if you’ve ever played with the scale of a fractal image, you can imagine how only an infinite being could perceive its ultimate complexity and shape. So how do we even begin to approach an understanding of the higher self and our soul’s purpose?
I think it is important to allow for evolution here: if you’ve come upon an inkling of your soul’s purpose, or even created a statement about it, don’t call it a day and stop. Your soul’s purpose looks different at different scales and the scales represent your levels of conscious awareness, your ability to see and know what your soul’s purpose is. So as you develop your awareness, your concept of your soul’s purpose will evolve, perhaps even completely change, like any living thing, so why not allow for this growth?
My point is that the higher self is infinite and your life can be a journey of exploring it, learning deeper and bigger truths. It never really ends. If today you think your purpose is to teach, allow this statement some room – or else be stuck forever at one level of seeing and knowing yourself.
I think I’m finally on the mend, having been sick for about a month. I’m making stuff again and I have a little energy to spare, as long as I rest when I need to. This morning I made this necklace in honour of my vision of my higher self, who I call Uvanga (which means “myself” in Inuktitut). The spiral shell and fossil stone remind me of sacred geometry, which I’ve been investigating in terms of fractals — where the instance meets the infinite and the two unite. This is how I see my higher self and all higher selves in general — infinite versions of our particular instances.
(Also note the GORGEOUS dress Willow made me — it looks like a galactic superhero dress in the best way possible!)
We made it home safely from another trip to Algonquin Park. This time was very different and full of surprises. Unbeknownst to us, the park was undergoing serious construction on the only road that crosses it (Highway 60). Naturally the park doesn’t warn its visitors of this, but it was a real pain due to single-lane delays. Since our favourite activity is driving up and down the highway looking for animals to photograph, we decided that spirit and the universe were trying to tell us to try new things. Luckily the wonderful ladies at our little motel told us of a very secluded road in Whitney, where we were staying. It was a real treat – technically part of it is in Algonquin, and during the roughly 6 hours we spent there throughout the trip, we only ever saw one person near the beginning of the road. So it was like a private Algonquin just for us.
Not only that, but the road was absolutely full of bear poop, wolf tracks, moose tracks, turtles, frogs, and other wildlife. It also had some of the best views we’ve ever seen. When we went up at night we saw two moose and I nearly cried, as it all seemed so spiritually right. The next day we went back, saw the moose again, and we were able to get a photography session in too.
During this trip I gained new spirit guides and learned to have such faith in things turning out for the best. It was absolutely lovely.
“Everything you can imagine is real.” – Pablo Picasso
Quantum physics, and modern theoretical physics, comes to some pretty odd conclusions. You hear of scientists happily admitting that an infinite universe, or infinite parallel universe, necessarily means that everything possible must exist. Yet when we look at these conclusions from a spiritual point of view, they can be used to understand reality in a very complete way. I’ve often joked that there should be a metaphysics expert at CERN (nominating myself, of course), but the truth is that science and shamanism can blend seamlessly together.
It is known that light exists both as a particle and as a wave. The waveform includes all possible paths the particle may take, and the wave is described as being “everywhere at once”. When forced into physical reality by being tested and observed, the waveform “collapses” and its reality manifests (in this plane of existence, anyway) as one of the potential particles, taking a single path. It is also said that this is not unique to light – that everything exists as both particle and wave. Even you.
I believe that the waveform, which is potential, is what we have been calling “spirit” all this time. It exists as a real thing but we can only ever observe the singular manifestations of physical particles in this plane of existence. You have a spirit, which is all your possibilities – and to me that equates to your higher self. Yet you can only physically observe the one manifestation of it out of an infinite set: your physical being as you know it.
Now, if potential is spirit, existing infinitely everywhere at once, how do we get to know it? I have another belief that answers this in a surprising way.
Our imagination is a direct sense of potential. How else can we know what is possible in an infinite universe? Well, everything we imagine is possible – somehow, somewhere. Thus, our imagination is a real sense, just like vision and hearing, but of spiritual things.
People don’t like to think that spirituality is made up or “all in our head”, and that’s not what I’m saying at all. What I’m saying is that through disciplined use of our imagination, we can see everything that is possible, which is the spirit realm.
Shamanism provides one such disciplined use of the imagination. You will hear great shamanic teachers saying things like, “Of course we’re imagining everything. That’s how we create reality.” The oft-used phrase “dreaming the world into being” speaks to this. What shamans do is to go into altered states of consciousness where they can get answers and see potential while feeling like they’re not making it up – the messages seem to come from outside our own heads.
As Pablo Picasso says, “Everything you can imagine is real.” Shamans use the shamanic journey to see reality in a different way – to see the full power of potential and possibility, which is spirit. And every time a spirit comes to speak to us, it is scientifically true that there must be a real being (somehow, somewhere) that exists who would say this to us. So it’s real and imaginary all at once, and the real trick is just learning to navigate this infinite universe.