Music: A Soul Walk Through Tuva

Take a moment to enjoy a shamanic soul journey.

I created this meditation soundscape with the amazing synthesizer, the MicroKORG, and added in some effects through the sound editor Audacity. I feel it represents a soul journey through Tuva, as I have included my own attempts at Tuvan throat singing (modified electronically) and a Tuvan drum beat as well.

Please enjoy and tell me what you think!

 

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The Infinite Paths to Spirit

There is no single path to spirit and our wildest dreams, but an infinite multitude of trails. It should be obvious, but sometimes we forget that there are no rules for connecting, accessing, and communicating with the non-physical world.

This is why I have felt distanced lately from labels like “shaman”. It has become clear to me that I do not agree with the shamanic worldview as it is generally understood. I cannot, myself, ascribe to any perspective that lays out the non-physical world as if it can be mapped at all. To draw a map is to impose limits and boundaries, while often reducing space to 2 dimensions and condensing data or details to the point where it all
becomes a metaphor, or even just a symbol. The spirit world, meanwhile, has no boundaries. No limits. There’s no containing it, and no laws need apply there. I believe contradiction abides peacefully in the spirit world, untroubled by the human mind which cannot comprehend it. I tend to think that the spirit world cannot be usefully mapped at all.

I’m not even saying that the shamanic description of the spirit world is wrong. For instance, it is said that there are three layers to the spiritual dimension: the Upper, Middle, and Lower worlds. I don’t have a quarrel with the concept; I don’t quibble about the somewhat vague meanings of the three categories. And I understand the compulsion to use physical terms that people are accustomed to, as if spatial directions
are relevant outside of spacetime. But this map is far, far, removed from the entirety of what the spirit world is. It’s just a napkin scribble that might help you get where you want to go — or where a teacher wants you to go. And it’s important to realize this. Who are we to think we know the landscape of infinity??

The less we think we know, the better.

But what I really want to say is that the label “shaman” imposes a distasteful distinction between “regular” folk and “special” people who can commune deeply with spirit. I disagree with this notion completely. While some people may be more confident, or even more skilled, in the ways of connecting with spirit, I maintain that everyone is directly in touch with the spiritual realm, even if they don’t realize it, and most can easily build on this innate ability. It is damaging to the spiritual growth of humanity to think we need to follow any elite group or person in order to get information about the spirit world. In truth, we do not actually need spiritual books or teachers, although learning from others does deliver new insights and perhaps helps push us along our journey. Just as you can see (or otherwise sense) the physical world and learn from it directly, for yourself, we are all given the opportunity to directly sense and learn from the spirit world.

My belief comes directly from how I define spirit. To me, the simplest way to define spirit is: something that exists which is not physically manifest in the world. And I believe that what we call spirit is the same thing we call potential. Potential by definition is non-physical, perhaps even the opposite of physical. Once potential becomes manifest, it is no longer potential, but physical. For me, if spirit can be equated to potential, then we are all hardwired to sense it: even animals dream, which is an exploration of potentiality. Things that aren’t physically happening; things that could happen. As I have said before, our imagination is a direct sense of potential, which is spirit. Imagination allows us to freely explore the landscape of the spirit world.

I have more to say, much more; but I wanted to offer a brief overview of why I will no longer be labeling myself as a shamanic practitioner, or any other label. I am but a human being who explores the spirit world.

Spotted Seal

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!

Hour Glass for Breath Work

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:

 

Imagination’s Wormholes

She shuffle-sways up and down
the train’s aisles, the lurch
a warp in space, a tug
on time. Waiting
for Mongolia, she leans
out a window, her thoughts streaming
loose from her skull, wind-swimming
behind her, each wish armed
before it tears away into air, into freedom, to change
the present, the past, and the future.
Spirit has wormholes too, she thinks,
getting down from the chair,
still imagining Mongolia and train-sway
in her own domestic kitchen.

Our Soul’s Purpose and the Higher Self

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.

 

Getting Better

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.

bty

(Also note the GORGEOUS dress Willow made me — it looks like a galactic superhero dress in the best way possible!)