Key Aspects of Transformation

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In this brief article we are going to examine some of the most fundamental aspects of beingness and how almost nobody understands how these aspects are the keys to happiness. This brief article could be a book or it could be a short article like this one. To begin I am going to make some rather outrageous proposals that I will not attempt to prove here. All I will say is that much wiser people than myself have made these proposals throughout history knowing that they almost completely failed in their mission to educate the human race on these matters. Unfortunately, one of the reasons for their failure has been totally inadequate translations of their teachings into other languages. In many cases these teachers were so misunderstood that the translations of their teachings said the opposite of what they really meant. This was not an accident. It was our own resistance to the truth. Let’s begin with some of these proposals.

1.    Human beings are concentrations of consciousness in a highly conscious universe. This makes us both brilliant and extraordinarily stupid in that we don’t see that.
2.    Human beings are not these fleshy physical bodies we see in the mirror or walking around the landscape. These are just very poor interpretations of vibrations of light that we actually are.
3.    Human beings are self-illuminating like the sun and the stars, not like the planets and moons that don’t produce their own light but reflect other light sources.
4.    Human beings are designed to be self-cleansing in so many ways. Cleansing is always messy and that is okay.

This simple list is or could be a game changer for us humans if we just understood this and acted accordingly. Now we will speak of the consequences of not understanding.

Let’s talk about the nature of cleansing. In time everything needs some dusting off, polishing, weeding, or deep cleaning. This goes for yards,  furniture, floors, attics, basements and thousands of other things. It goes for us as well. Most things are not self-cleaning so we have to roll up our sleeves and get to work. However, a few things are self-cleaning and we humans are one of them. The process of cleaning is the same whether the object needs to be cleaned or is self-cleaning. When your clothes get dirty you wash them and in the process, water turns brown with dirt and soap. When you dust the house, rags and cloths get filthy with accumulated dirt. When you clean the garage, the whole scene looks like a mess for a few hours or even days as you move everything out, toss some things, organize and replace objects in better ways.

To do successful cleaning you have to tolerate some chaos, disorder, and dust as you sweep, rake, or wipe surfaces. If you cannot tolerate this then you cannot successfully clean.

Years ago, when my daughter Anna was seventeen or eighteen, she was bitten by a black widow spider without realizing it. She got very sick and thought she was going to die. She eventually recovered and was informed by a doctor friend that she had all the symptoms of a black widow bite. Six months later she broke out in a horrible rash and acne all over her face and chest. By that time, she had forgotten about the spider bite. She thought something was terribly wrong but discovered by this same doctor that this was a natural process of the body healing itself. At the time of the bite lymph nodes absorbed as much of the neurotoxins as possible to preserve her life. Six months later when the coast was clear the lymph nodes let go of the toxins and she broke out in the rash and acne. This was all a part of the body cleaning itself.

When we use poor judgment or make a mistake in life, we often suffer the consequences by feeling bad, getting sick, or suffering in some way. Often, we feel bad because of our worry thoughts. This is the way our psyche lets us know that we did something unwise or unhealthy and this is partially how the psyche attempts to clean itself. We are self-cleansing so there are repercussions that teach us not to do this again. However, we are so intent on avoiding feeling bad that we distract ourselves in multiple ways immediately upon feeling unpleasant. Some of the ways we distract ourselves are: Eating, drinking, overworking, reviewing yesterday, planning for tomorrow, reading our texts and e-mails, checking the weather, looking at the news, looking at YouTube videos, and on and on. Not wanting to feel bad is like not wanting to look at the mess when we clean the garage or the basement. It never gets done that way. So, we put a stop to our self-cleaning process and without cleansing our self-illumination becomes obscured. All of this is a result of trying not to be present. Presence is our royal road to feeling happy so we are constantly insuring ourselves of not being happy.

A headache or sore throat is a warning that something needs cleaning or healing. If we immediately take a pill to avoid it we have no way of knowing what is wrong. This is like shutting off the fire alarm or smoke detector quickly and never examining why it went off. The result could be a disastrous fire. We fail to realize that not feeling good is part of our self-cleaning system. It requires our attention. This is not to say that we should spend more of our time suffering however it is a good idea to spend more of our time looking objectively at what started the suffering process and seeing clearly what was an unhealthy action or thought process. In other words, this is the process of being mindful.

I am reminded of an old John Wayne movie I saw when I was a kid. I don’t remember the exact name of the movie but in the film John’s character is advising an impetuous impatient young man who is rather full of himself. He says to the younger man something to the effect that, “Look kid. Life is hard. It’s a lot harder if you’re stupid.” I have to admit I learned something from this exchange. Life is so much harder if we behave stupidly and fail to see that by avoiding being present, and avoiding the symptoms of our negative thoughts, we make ourselves even more miserable.

Our entire culture conspires to perpetuate this idiocy and the ancient teachings fall on deaf ears. Our nature is to be present, self-aware, highly conscious, and self-illuminating.  This happens most easily when we are empty of thoughts but instead in our knowingness. This allows us to be in accord with the supreme intelligence of the universe. Excess thinking throws us out of the present and has us investing in fear instead. The consequence of being self-aware is feeling better than we have ever felt before. This is available at all times, everywhere, to everyone. The consequence of being myopically in fear is to be miserable causing us to distract ourselves from how fearful we have become only making us more fearful because we are not seeing that we ourselves are the cause of our own fears.

Life is hard. Life is much harder if we are stupid. Right now, the entire human race is having an opportunity to see this stupidity clearly. Things will get worse and worse until no distractions will work anymore. Then we will look and see that happiness is in our own conscious awareness and misery is of our making through projection, denial, and distraction. When this occurs things will cease to get worse and worse and they will get better and better instead. Imagine that.

José Stevens

José Luis Stevens, PhD is the president and co-founder (with wife Lena) of Power Path Seminars, an international school and consulting firm dedicated to the study and application of shamanism and indigenous wisdom to business and everyday life. José completed a ten-year apprenticeship with a Huichol (Wixarika) Maracame (Huichol shaman) in the Sierras of Central Mexico. In addition, he is studying with Shipibo shamans in the Peruvian Amazon and with Paqos (shamans) in the Andes in Peru. In 1983 he completed his doctoral dissertation at the California Institute of Integral Studies focusing on the interface between shamanism and western psychological counseling. Since then, he has studied cross-cultural shamanism around the world to distill the core elements of shamanic healing and practice. He is the author of twenty books and numerous articles including Encounters With Power, Awaken The Inner Shaman, The Power Path, Secrets of Shamanism, Transforming Your Dragons and How To Pray The Shaman’s Way.

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You may make copies of this writing and distribute it in any media you wish, so long as you do not charge for it or alter it in any way. You must credit the author and include this entire copyright notice. While the text may be shared, no audio files, including lectures, music and/or sound meditations, may be posted on any site for any reason without written permission from the Power Path.

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