Are any of you Shamans or wonders what it means to be a shaman today in this era? Also with the modern brain, can psychedelics, meditation, and esoteric knowledge actually cause a “evolution” of sorts in the populace? What if one were to essentially “trip”, intravenously or by other means for an entire year in total seclusion? How would his matrix and reality change? How different would his brain and 2nd brain within his gastrointestinal tract be from the average human? Some believed in being who could attain such high functions of the mind that they could alter the laws of Nature. Are we becoming more than human truly? What if…?
I have been practicing meditation since I was 15 years old. I started learning shamanic practices about two years ago and, at the age of 23, have had major improvements in my life. A personal experience was by doing a practice in which you move your mind (consciousness) from your own body into another material such as a piece of wood, stone, or metal and simply learning from the object all there is about it and not being yourself but being that object for a time. I practiced it regularly and soon became bored. I live in Louisiana and this past major hurricane we had I found a very large moth in my house. At first I tried to get it outside but when the weather picked up I decided against that. I lay down and began to speak to the moth saying that it could stay inside through the night and leave the next day when it would be safe. Before I could realize it my consciousness merged with the moth’s and I was aware of everything from its own perspective. I was quite terrified at first but this passed and I soon found comfort in the moth’s mind. It was not until then that I realized that because we humans live so much longer we take the time to actually think and fret and worry about everything especially the trivial things. The mind of the moth was amazing its thoughts were numerous and flowed from one to the other in perfect order. I realized I was listening to the song of the moth. Every thought was happy in feeling, for the moth just to exist and be was pure bliss. At some point I fell asleep but the song of the moth stayed with me for weeks and I found myself much happier during that time. It was that which taught me what shamanism is truly about. It is not about separating yourself from all that is familiar to you but by connecting with everything that is. Even the smallest and most inconspicuous of things around you can make a big difference in life. Therein lays the true power of a shaman and of creating change. It starts with respect and understanding. Until mankind can reclaim these experiences and practices I feel as though we are not becoming more but less than what we once were.
@pantheonzeusamon, To be honest, at first I did not. I have recently noticed that dietary changes have started to happen on their own though. I have started eating a lot less meat and a lot more vegetables and fruit. Eating meat actually makes me feel a little sick now, whereas eating plants have began to make me feel more energetic. I have also noticed that I drink a lot more water, milk, and teas now. Sodas have started to give me major heartburn.
I do not take supplements or any types of psychedelics because they are not really needed at this point for me. Since I have been practicing meditation for quite a few years now learning how to Journey was a very easy transition. I did use drumming tracks from Sandra Ingerman to help me get the feel of it in the beginning. Honestly though it all depends on the person, but I personally believe that if you take the time to learn proper meditation techniques you will not need to rely on psychedelic supplements as they do have major drawbacks.
The major plants that are used are extremely toxic (i.e. Nightshade or Aconite) and can be lethal if too much is taken by accident (1 tablespoon dried Aconite can kill a man). Shamanic Journey is known also as Soul Journey and is the most potent form of Out of Body Experience (O.B.E.) because it can allow someone to travel between all the realms of existence (innumerable and unable to be mapped). Unlike Astral Projection which can only traverse the astral plains. Therefore psychedelics do not aid the shaman because they mostly only produce hallucinations and not true soul travel. Nightshade and Aconite on the other hand brings the user to a state very close to death allowing them to consciously move their soul from their body and then direct it for a short period of time. I would rather just develop the discipline to move my soul on my own rather than put my life at unnecessary risk. A shaman’s power does not come from shortcuts, but from discipline and patience.