Transformation of Consciousness
by Roel Crabbé
In this article, I will gladly discuss the transformation of consciousness that we see flourishing worldwide. I describe this from the archetype of the shaman, but of course, this evolution applies equally to the Western practitioners of shamanism or other spiritual traditions.
Anthropology tells us that shamanism is the oldest profession in the world. Since ancient times we have found shamans in all cultures: men or women who are called by the spirit world to work for the balance of the community. The shaman can perform this work in many capacities, as a counselor, healer, artist, seer, fortune-teller, dreamer, ritual counselor, priest, etc.
The calling that the shaman experiences usually arises during a period of illness or intense personal imbalance often described as the ‘dark night of the soul’. In this moment of personal crisis, the initiate is taken into the spiritual world, where he or she receives instruction from the spirit helpers who will later assist him in community work. He learns to heal himself and receives instruction about the nature of illness and the functioning of the soul and the web of life.
Central to shamanic practice and healing is cooperation with the spiritual dimensions. The shaman works from connectedness with the sacred dimension of existence. He has access to a wider reality in which he is assisted by his spirit helpers and guides. He can bring himself into a state of expanded consciousness and travels between spiritual dimensions to anchor new power and vision in this world.
The shaman enters the blueprint of the universe. He is the ‘walker between the worlds’, the ‘ecstatic technician’, the ‘holy dreamer’. He looks at the world with different eyes, sees beyond material form, and is open to voices in silence. He listens to the wind, the rain, the stones, and the plants.
Shamanism is on the rise. Where many traditional cultures often kept their “sacred ways” to themselves, they now increasingly share wisdom with anyone open to their message. We are also seeing more and more how traditions share rituals. These traditional teachers tell us how their elders, like the spiritual guides, emphasize the importance of unifying humanity. This impulse to unite can be felt worldwide.
The sense of great change that many people experience in the West is a collective fact. We often think that this feeling originates in our hectic Western lifestyle, but traditional spiritual leaders also talk extensively about the collective leap that we can make as humans. Their message is often one of renewal, of brotherhood and sisterhood, of cooperation and a vision of life that comes from a deep connection with the sacred dimension of existence.
In a sense, the classic crisis of the shaman, in which the old dies and a new path reveals itself, now seems to be expressing itself on a global scale. A collective crisis in which many feel called to look beyond what they know. We increasingly feel the importance of reconnecting with Mother Earth and the sacred dimension of existence.
These are wonderful times that invite us as humans to develop a new vision and to consciously walk, with determined dedication, to a new destination. It seems as if we are each led in our way to a path on which we live from the consciousness of connectedness. This is the great gift of our time. It requires our trust, faith, and strength to live a new vision so that the collective can be expressed.
Shamanism has countless forms. The core of shamanism, however, is formless. It is founded on the connection with the dimensions of the soul through trance, dreams, prayer. Shamanism is a path of strength and surrender.
Even though personal transformation is a constant on this path, the original core is one of service. The first shaman was born of a genuine desire to help the other, relieve pain, and bring hope.
The shaman is a servant, a student of life. He surrenders to the power that guides him through the sacral and profane dimensions. He follows the path on which he will die many times: constantly surrendering to a broader understanding of universal principles and dimensions of the soul.
A life of service to the greater whole thanks to the continued support of his spiritual guides, by some called ‘the compassionate spirits’: ‘the spiritual beings of compassion’.
Shamanism is a path of direct revelation, which sooner or later opens the practitioner’s eyes to the holy path. Not one path is “holier” than another, but a path of wonder and respect for the great mystery that we call life. A path on which we experience that everything is connected and that life itself is sacred. Everything and every one is precious, sacred, and filled with essence. A path of brotherhood and sisterhood.
It reveals the dimensions of the soul through its own experience. It reveals the connectedness and continuous growth of consciousness that awaits us as open doors in every moment. Life becomes an invitation to renew ourselves and to open ourselves to new inspiration, strength, and, above all, vision.
I believe that as humans we are called to reveal a new world. Many gifts live within our hearts. The path of giving, helping each other, of sincerely using your gifts for the good, is the true path of strength. It has always been that way and always will be. It is a universal path, regardless of specific traditions, beliefs, or vision.
We each have our unique voice and way of life. I believe that life invites us to renew our perception and unite the hearts, to become simple again, open to the preciousness of this existence. A new vision that awakens, a time of rebirth. And we are connected to this.
A new world awaits those who are willing to live it and give it new expression. The voices of many cultures and traditions will become one. It is here that our collective leap will find expression and strength. The call of service to the greater whole awakens in each of us.
© Roel Crabbé – 2011