Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Shamanic Practice: Erasing Personal History

"Central to the practice of the shaman is the dropping of his personal history. Castaneda recounts that Don Juan instructed him to 'endeavor to erase my personal history by any means conceivable'. Dropping one's personal history means setting the axe against the root of the ego. Personal History is constantly renewed by telling parents, relatives and friends everything one has done, thus determining what is expected in the future. Not so the warrior; he drops the baggage of the past, he 'has no family, no name, no country', the expectations of others do not pin him down, 'he has only life to be lived'."   from The Wheel of Time book review by Ed Metcalfe

A core practice in contemporary shamanism is the Erasing of Personal History as introduced into the mainstream in the writings of Carlos Casteneda. During his apprenticeship with the Shaman Don Juan, Carlos was reminded of his own personal "stories" and the way they influenced the way he responded in his life.

From the time we are very young, we create personal stories based on our perceptions of events. These stories are just that, stories. They are not "truth" but are indeed our own creation of what happened and may differ from the way others perceive the same events. "You can't walk in another man's moccasins" might be a good adage here and a reminder that our experiences are our own and not necessarily the way others see them.

So long as we continue to reference our internal library of Personal History, then we continue to respond in ways that are based on the past and not in the present.  We can often identify when we are responding from Personal History when there is more energy in the interaction than what might seem "current". This could be an overreaction to what might be a small incident or comment from someone, an "ouch", or as large as a full blown depression or fear reaction. Beginning to identify these triggers can do much to help us in detaching from them and in the process returning to the present which is the Point of Power.

Photo Spiral Galaxy

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