A new José Stevens Article

What The Coronavirus Can Teach Us About Ideas and Narratives

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(warning: this article is a little longer than usual-it’s a big topic)

Shamans know that everything in this collective virtual reality is nothing more than manifested concepts or ideas that were born out of curiosity throughout the ages. We could even go so far as to say that curiosity is a property of Spirit, our most core self. Spirit has curiosity. That is why we find ourselves here and alive and having all these adventures, challenges, and experiences. Artists, inventors, and mystics have always understood this too. When people are brainstorming, ideas are born, bantered about, argued over, until they are defeated and dismissed or adopted. Someone offers an idea and several people say, that is a great idea, let’s do that. Some are not so sure but the enthusiasm of the group takes over and the idea is put into action and form. Perhaps a new type of automobile is born or a new type of communication device, or way of harnessing energy, or other piece of technology. As we all know sometimes it works out and has lasting beneficial influence on the lives of people and sometimes it turns out that it was a terrible idea and probably should not have been implemented.

That is how the world works and that is how we learn. Everything we see, touch, feel, experience was born as an idea, a concept in some distant historical mind whether human or not. The coronavirus is nothing more than this, an idea implemented into form through nature, manifested to wake us out of our slumber, remove us from our comfort zones where growth comes to a standstill, helping us to discover who we are, what we are, how we are meant to serve. What is our medicine? The disease reveals the medicine for each one of us in case we didn’t notice. “Damn, I might die. What am I doing? Am I living my life or just going through the motions? What is my real medicine contribution to this earth? Maybe it’s time I should get to that or redouble my focus on how to do it even better.”

Contagion is another interesting idea. Contagion exists on many levels. At the most basic level at the lowest vibration, we can catch something physical, like a virus. At higher levels we can catch emotions or attitudes from other people. Fads are contagions, fashion is based on contagion, conspiracy theories are contagious, urban legends are contagions and so on. Sometimes what we catch is instructive and positive and sometimes not. At even higher levels we can catch enthusiasm or excitement or inspiration. Finally, we can catch conscious awareness. This is why people like to hang around highly evolved people, hoping to catch their bliss. At the higher levels of awareness, we no longer become vulnerable to catching illnesses or negativity because the vibration of that kind of contagion does not exist there. However, if we allow stress and fear to take over we are then ripe for contagion at the lower levels. Contagion then is not good or bad, it just shows up differently at different levels and it has different consequences.

Bear in mind that on the planet today, everyone is subject to collective stress and fear that permeates all of our thinking. Only the most evolved souls are capable of avoiding contagious negativity altogether. Even older souls can catch things like the fear of coronavirus and at a lower level can actually catch the illness so don’t become spiritually arrogant and become careless. Infecting others through carelessness can also be quite karmic.

As humans we like to take ideas and string them into narratives that we then adopt and believe for a while whole heartedly and then suddenly discard when a new narrative takes its place. An example of this might be “the world is flat” that eventually gave way to “the world is round” narrative. Right now there are many narratives about the coronavirus and how it spreads and how it can be treated. There are mainstream official narratives and branch narratives that don’t gain traction for many reasons even though a branch narrative may be proven more accurate over time. So, we have beliefs about viruses and contagion and what those ideas mean and we have beliefs about vaccines and what those mean and so on and so forth.

Sometimes official narratives end up killing a lot of people. This is often the case when profits mingle with products and there is an investment in certain narratives being official. This can readily be seen when certain foods are believed to be good for you or that you must take certain medications to save your life when in fact both may be completely unsafe or deadly in the long run. What narratives are being manipulated right now about the coronavirus that may in the future prove to be completely false and rather damaging? Therefore, it is perhaps a good thing to question whether everything being touted about the coronavirus is actually true or just a popular idea for the time being.  I like the Buddhist approach here that responds to everything with, “Oh, is that so?” an open-minded approach keeping a “Don’t know mind.”

Consider some of these narratives that you can readily find on the internet. Was the coronavirus really invented in a lab and is it being used to manipulate and force the world to take their vaccines? Shouldn’t we just ignore the whole pandemic and get back to life as usual because it is a democrat hoax to discredit the current president? Isn’t it all a big manipulation spawned by governments, corporations, or deep state manipulators to control us? To the fear based all this could sound plausible but is it really? On the other hand are we really at the complete mercy of this pandemic and have we no say in whether we get sick or not? To the fear based it may seem obvious. We should lie in a bath of hand sanitizer and never leave home again. Are viruses so powerful and contagious that we are doomed or is there nothing we can do to stave off the worst-case scenarios? More fear-based considerations. What makes sense? What does not? The answer comes by leaving fear behind and looking more neutrally. Fear is always going to distort and mangle the truth. The truth is, the truth may be changing as we speak, as we learn, as we open our eyes to the experience.

This is how powerful narratives are. They can drive us to make choices that are extremely unwise and they can perpetuate over many generations and spread throughout the world regardless of whether they are accurate or not. Does that not sound like a virus? Some beliefs have been with us for thousands of years even though there is no evidence that they are true. The very idea that a person could be damned forever to the fires of hell or lose their soul if they have sex with the “wrong partner,” have an abortion, or the idea that if you don’t have a guru you will never become enlightened, or dozens of other beliefs, is pure insanity but alive and well throughout the world. What about these mental viruses that we have been living with for who knows how long? When are we going to leave them behind?

To penetrate deeper and question these programs and conditioning narratives is deeply frowned upon and resisted by local culture. The social pressure to retain them is strong and designed to make us extremely uncomfortable and that is why it is so effective. To question goes against the status quo and could result in ostracism or worse, execution a la the inquisition. Curiosity and questioning is our only method of making progress in this world. Otherwise tradition would own everything and we would be static, still being afraid of our own shadows.

Anomalies are very interesting to observe and study, being exceptions to the rule, because they are narrative busters. There are always events and phenomena that baffle people and that is our saving grace. Why did that person curse and not get struck down by a lightning bolt? Why did that person suddenly recover from stage four cancer? How did that person lift a two-ton automobile off that child? How did that person dance on raging hot coals in bare feet and not get burned? These things are not supposed to happen but they do, every day. One of my favorite anomalies is the famous case of a man with multiple personality disorder. He had two prominent and distinct personalities. One was known to be diabetic and the other was not. When the one with diabetes was present he demonstrated all the physiological symptoms of diabetes and had to take insulin. If he did not he would die. When the other personality was present he showed absolutely no symptoms of diabetes and if he took insulin it would kill him. This drove his doctors crazy with trying to figure out who was present at what times so they be sure to regulate his insulin intake or not.

Now how is it possible that the same body can display all symptoms of something instantly or vanish them instantly depending on what the personality in charge believes? Does this anomaly point to a hidden truth that we are all this way at a deeper level, that we can manufacture anything if we just believe it enough? Is it possible that we can manufacture symptoms of a virus that can actually kill us if we believe it implicitly or in some cases the opposite notion that it won’t touch us? Perhaps people only get sick when they believe they can get sick while others do not. Perhaps people catch viruses when they believe in contagion while others do not or is contagion real and independent of belief? Clearly belief has something to do with it but how much influence does it have? A lot depending on what level you are vibrating at.

Does this explain why some people die from the coronavirus and many do not? Now this further raises some important questions. Can you just change your mind and be safe or are you still endangered? Can we really escape the collective belief systems and narratives? There are many examples of people who thought they could fly if they just believed it and who fell to their deaths anyway even though there is much historical evidence that people can and do levitate. I have known individuals with cancer diagnoses who did not believe in chemotherapy and radiation, tried alternative therapies, and quickly died from their symptoms. Perhaps tens of thousands have died this way. How many people have died from chemotherapy treatments or radiation therapy? We will never know because doctors never put this on the death certificate. You can bet that tens of thousands have died because of misapplied chemotherapy treatments, and not from their cancer. So, what are we to believe? My conclusion here is that collective belief in certain narratives is no easy thing to overcome. I personally believe that advanced individuals can levitate spontaneously but I am not going to test it out by jumping off a bridge anytime soon. The world is just not there yet with its collective belief in the impossibility of it. Sometimes we have to acknowledge that even though we theoretically believe something, at a subconscious level we retain the fear that something else is true. If we are not honest with ourselves about this, we can easily die. There are many things that I know will be true in the future but as a species we are not ready to believe these things yet and I am still influenced by todays beliefs as most of us are. I would be kidding myself if I thought I was not. There are so many people that believe in contagion that it is hard to buck that trend.

We are living in a cusp time, a time of radical change. There have been other times in history when people had to bridge belief systems. After the French revolution there was a radical shift to belief in scientific discoveries over the deeply conservative and limited views of religion. In some ways this was a great liberation. In other ways we went overboard to the opposite polarity. When we are caught in a cusp-time there is much confusion and stress in determining what to believe. Sometimes we have to give lip service to the old even though we sense the new is more correct. For example, I sense that the bodies we have are entirely renewable and can exist without illness, diseases, and maladies whatsoever. I have made some progress in this regard yet I continue to experience aging and physical limitations like allergies because I am in the soup of the old narrative. This annoys me but I accept it for now. There is no need to force this body to accept radical new ideas because it has its status quo. My body will respond gradually to the new narrative but practically speaking I will need a new body eventually that has different and better conditioning. Shamanically speaking it is possible to erase the old narrative and have no story at all. I like this aspect of shamanism but it is not something that happens overnight. It is a more gradual process.

Within the next fifty years the changes in our belief systems and narratives will be so radical as to render our world unrecognizable. We are literally changing octaves and believe it or not the coronavirus is playing a role in accelerating this process. It is forcing us to come to terms with our narratives. The process is very uncomfortable and destabilizing for many. Before stability returns we must face the unknown, a terrifying and exciting prospect. The unknown becomes the known as it happens. By choosing what happens we stay out of resistance and remain neutral, a balanced place to be.  This requires us to be present in every moment, not a simple task.

The risks are high in this endeavor. If we choose to be over on one polarity we risk alienating many on the other polarity and we may make poor choices. On the other hand if we gently question and keep prodding for the truth, we can make much progress without hurting ourselves or others in the process. We can be kind and compassionate toward people of different points of view. People should have the right to choose what they want to believe without forcing everyone else to believe it. A good case in point would be the beliefs in prochoice or prolife. It would be okay for people to just follow their own beliefs in this matter and not try to force everyone else to conform to their own side.  I believe if we don’t take responsibility for managing our own numbers nature will do this for us, and perhaps not in a very pleasant way. When we learn that bodies are just vehicles and not the essence itself, much of this problem will go away just as most problems will go away with the radical shift taking place. As they like to say in Iceland, “Hang in there. If you don’t like the weather, wait a minute.”

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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.