Warriors and soldiers are passionate? But that is merely focus. They are controlled and they are driven. They believe, but this is not passion. Passion sort of excludes belief.
Tonight, or today as the case may be, we are talking about Shamanism. Not any one cultures Shamanism, but the essence of Shamanism that has run through many cultures. It has influenced cultural thought as well, but it is a way of thinking, and acting, and being, more than a credo.
That’s perhaps the first thing to emphasize. Shamanism is spiritual, but it is not a religion. It doesn’t have the forms or ideas that go with religion, including dogma. There is no single tradition of Shamanism in any culture. Perhaps like the eastern monks or Indian gurus, you would be initiated into a lineage of Shamanism passed down from teacher to student for a very long time. But again not a creed, and being adapted by the personal practitioner based on their experiences and new insights they might receive in their practice.
Now, it wasn’t just pointless flights of fantasy though, either. One was evaluated by the effectiveness of their insights. A Shaman who could show no wisdom was just seen as crazy, and would not keep the respected position of leadership.
There are a lot of systems of magick that have arisen in the world. Shamanism tends to have a certain elegance in its simplicity. You hear about many different energies and forces at work in the world. In Shamanism, they really only focus on one energy which they see as the source of all power. Can you guess what this energy is?
Earth? Good guess, any others? Does it run through the earth? Oh, indeed it does. The energy that has been the focus of Shamanism is life. Life force.
In the Shamanic view, everything exists because it has life energy, and nothing can exist without it. Even the spirits of the departed have life energy, but just existing in a different phase of life. They don’t have a view that any life energy can actually be lost. It’s always reused or recycled, if you will. Thus one tradition was to look for signs of the return of an ancestor, because in Shamanism no life energy is ever out of the loop.
Perhaps the primary principle of Shamanism in practice is balance. They only see life energy, so any energy you have is borrowed, and any energy you exert goes out into the world to be used by other spirits. Everything that happens in Shamanism happens for the same reason human events happen. Some spirit made it happen.
One could grow strong by keeping balance. Just as all energy is borrowed, one would grow in energy by building what could be thought of as good credit. As the Shaman works with spirits of all types and learns from their guidance, their own spiritual strength grows and their own acts of intention start having a stronger impact. Greater Shamans becoming like the greater spirits of nature, but not as the God image westerns have, not as lord and master, but more as elder.
Any similarity to karma? Much similarity to karma, but more organic perhaps.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.