The non-ordinary spirit realm can feel and function in very ordinary ways. What we expect from spirit may let us down and cause disappointment. We would all like to experience extraordinary things and let spirit blow our minds. But this is not, perhaps, the best teaching method spirit has. We have to work for our lessons and healing. We cannot expect spirit to do all the work for us. For one thing, that expectation renders us helpless and powerless, which is not who we are.
Christina Pratt of the Last Mask Center pointed out in one of her startlingly insightful podcasts that as children, our experiences with our imaginary friends felt completely natural and ordinary for us. This is what daily communication with so-called non-ordinary (spirit) reality should feel like. It is everyone’s right and even responsibility to claim their natural connection with spirit, remembering that humans are beings of spirit too.
Daily connection with spirit can, if your expectations are too high, feel as dull as doing the dishes. But this is not a hindrance so much as it is precisely the point of these interactions. We do not need spirit for a feeling of exhilaration and inspiration — that is a benefit we can access, but it is not the purpose of working with spirit. The relationships we develop with spirit can and will feel like speaking with old friends and family — sometimes clearly supportive, sometimes maddening, sometimes very neutral, but always of value.
Each of us can be said to be living in our own universe of observation and story. It has also been theorized that all possible permutations of reality exist simultaneously. When a shaman works with spirit to enact change in his or her universe, he or she must understand that the very realm of possibility is being tapped into in order to make that change. The actions taken by the shaman in the spiritual world have very real consequences in the physical world.
Those universes which are yet resting in quantum possibility are indeed the spirit realms.
The quantum realm of possibility is one of infinite potential, to which we have a direct link through our power of imagination. In this way, imagination is a direct sense of the spirit world, like our sense of sight or smell. We tend to be wary of our imagination, as if it is an unreality – and in one way it certainly is. Yet it is also a vehicle to the non-ordinary, or shamanic, reality. Imagination let run wild will transport one to other worlds and we can be assured that they are as “real” as quantum potential, in which everything imaginable exists by necessity.
This physical world that you inhabit is a single manifestation from the limitless possibilities of the spirit world. Spirit, bearing all possibilities simultaneously, is recognized as being neutral. Spirit is neither light nor dark and this view is sometimes confusing or even distressing to seekers to spiritual wisdom. However, it is important to note this fact, as the spirit world requires careful navigation and interpretation. A naïve outlook could lead to taking messages at face-value in far too simplistic or otherwise unhelpful ways.
The spirit realm is infinitely changeless and infinitely changing simultaneously. In dealing with the spirit world, a shaman aims to create ripples and vibrations in the physical world, meanwhile the spirit world remains as it is. A shaman aims to shift possibility’s vibrations towards a manifestation of harmony in the physical world. This demonstrates the responsibility of the spirit-walker to work with healing intent, and for the good of the whole community, if not for the whole world. This requires a selfless ego, which recognizes the neutrality of the spirit realm while having invested interests in one’s community in the physical world.
This interpretation of spirit and science is one that opens doors to investigation and thought. It is not a closed conversation, being a theory based not on imposing rules, but on pure observations. Ancient shamanic cultures have reached conclusions that meld beautifully with current scientific thought, reminding us that all interpretations of reality are but metaphors, and it is how we envision the world that dictates what we can achieve within it.
If the spirit realm is linked to our imagination and exists as the scope of quantum possibilities, what role ought the physical world to play in establishing access into it?
Ritual and creating space in the physical world has always played an important role in shamanic practice. When a shaman creates sacred space and employs ritual, he or she is honing the link between the physical world, which the shaman wishes to influence or otherwise delve into, and the spirit world of possibility (expressed through the imagination as the visionary practice of journeying). The shaman is a walker between worlds, tightrope tip-toeing through liminal spaces. Thus it important to have focus, intent, and a plan all in place – and certainly it is always advised not to journey without a question at hand, however alluring the idea of blindly wandering the Dreamtime might be. Ritual and sacred space serve to assure the focus, intent, and plan of the journey.
Further, by creating sacred space one is quite literally opening a portal from one world to the next by opening the imagination to sacredness itself, which is a spiritual concept. The act of creating sacred space defines the physical world as having spiritual ties. It is about staking a claim that the space and time in which a shaman works is spiritually opened and fully bridged to the spirit realm.
The rituals employed by a shaman are boundless, unlimited by the physics of the ordinary world. This means that while rituals may be specific, they do not function within the confines of rational logic. Rituals are physical actions that serve spiritual functions. They may be tasks assigned to a shaman from spirit, or otherwise directed by spiritual intuition. Either way, their purpose is much the same as that of creating sacred space. The shaman performs spiritual action in the physical world, tying both realms together and forming the portal through which the shaman journeys.
This explanation of ritual and sacred space makes it clear why these practices are critical, even if they are merely brief and simple activities. It may be that persons who most yearn for spiritual experiences fail to perform them precisely because such people long to break ties with the physical world rather than reinforce them. Yet, rituals serve to make the road for the seeker to travel into the spirit world, rather than to close and lock the door to it.
the world awake,
praying in song.
I believe very deeply in prayer.
I think all prayers, across all religions, are equal in an energetic sense. The energy and the intent of the prayer is the same no matter who you are praying to. I love written prayers from all the religions because they are so beautiful that they all express the energy I want to express.
But my mind words in mysterious ways, and would rather not use words at all. That’s fine! That’s great! You can easily pray without words.
The Tuvan shamans pray by uttering “nonsense” while concentrating on energy and intent. I do this a lot. The sounds I create help me concentrate and put me in a frame of mind to focus on the energy I want to put out to the universe.
A prayer can be as simple as looking at the fall of light on a tree, and being emotionally moved. That moment helps to focus your mind on the energy you want to convey.
So any moment where you’re focused on putting out energy can be thought of as a prayer. That’s the basic foundation of it — now find what works for you.
I do shamanic journeys and healing for others for free. I will also pray for you! If you are interested in receiving healing, find more info here: Spiritual Readings and Healing
For me, the sweetest gifts are ideas, especially when they are somehow mysterious and provoke much wondering.
This morning, the universe reminded me of many truths. For I believe that Everything and Nothing exist simultaneously (though to us, this appears as merely Something). And like electrons, which are both particle and wave —
We are simultaneously one and all, utterly meaningful and utterly meaningless, perfect and imperfect, complex and simple, and even both alive and dead.
The further you explore yanantin, which is the Peruvian shamanic view of complimentary opposites, the further truths you attain. Remembering too that even science concedes to strange dualisms, such as the magic of particle and wave, I imagine that the Everything and the Nothing are fully realized, fully “real” in their physical manifestations. Thus it is no idle riddle when I say we are simultaneously both alive and dead, but I believe that this is utterly, utterly true in every way, and much wisdom can arise from it.