July 16th 2013 - “In creating, the only hard thing is to begin.” James Russell Lowell
On a personal level, empowerment is that which provides the strength, tenacity, and influence to alter one’s own life, the environment in which one lives, and the course of the history of one’s existence. Additionally, since we know individuals exist within a unified cosmic order in which every act and every thought ripples across the universe as a mutating force, we must consider the consequences of the empowerment we seek and understand the potential for a positive influence in our immediate community and beyond into the whole universe. As we gain the power to heal and become our true selves, we create an energy field that not only encompasses our inner being but simultaneously creates vibrational forces of a like nature that emanate outward and alter all that they touch.
In the common world, we might speak of an individual that possesses authority empowering another person with the right to act and make authoritative decisions. But in the spiritual world, power is self-acquired and empowerment is a choice we make. Prior to finding this inner strength, we may have had a perception of helplessness as we struggled with problems, pain, and loss. Our spiritual development included discovering the choice we have to empower ourselves and to find the positive energies necessary for our healing and enlightenment. The shamanic journey has included discovering our true selves and achieving personal empowerment but now we must consider the significance of the creative power that we now possess.
In the spiritual concept of a cosmic unity, we are both at one with the entire universe while at the same time encompassing the entire universe within ourselves. Imagine a drop of water in the ocean. We have a concept of the drop as an entity, but when the drop blends into the vastness of the ocean it becomes the ocean and is indistinguishable as a drop of water. The power of the ocean lies within each drop and, absent these drops, the ocean does not exist. Such is our existence within the universe. We are the universe and it is our individual consciousness that creates the universe. Therefore, we are the power of the universe, for good or bad, and we are the energy of the universe, whether positive or negative. We achieve this oneness by the absence of ego but this conceptualization of the universe leaves us with formidable power to create.
I recently attended a conference on the environment and sustainability where the Dalai Lama spoke. His message of hope and peace was optimistic in its suggestion that although we had created the problems that plague the world—environmental degradation, climate change, loss of endangered species—we also have the power to create a different and more positive future. The negative influences of war, greed, and ecological indifference are choices humankind has made and we have created a world that is becoming less inhabitable. The positive energy of the Dalai Lama was displayed by his choice to reference positive possibilities and not to labor over negative descriptions and factoids about what was wrong. The problem is well defined; the solution lies in the positive creative powers of individuals acting in small ways that lead to great seismic shifts in the future that match and exceed the past negative energies. Remember the universe desires to be whole, unified, and mutually supportive of all life. The powers that align with this natural condition have unlimited ability to create a perfect world in a universe that in itself has never known imperfection. It welcomes the positive creative energies of humankind because it never judged us and only awaited our discovery of our unbounded powers for good.
In an interview some years ago, the Dalai Lama was asked what surprised him the most. He responded, “Man, because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. Then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future. He lives as if he is never going to die, and then he dies having never really lived.” The power of this thought lies in its simplicity. We have the power of choice. If we choose to focus on that which is truly meaningful, our energies are redirected from the foolishness of our petty behaviors to that which is most meaningful in life. The collateral effort of your becoming the person you were meant to be is that your transformation will alter all that you touch. Your change becomes a creative force in the universe. You owe it not only to your better self but also to all creation to become who you were destined to be.
We are often depressed by the thought that our problems exceed the ability of individuals to overcome them, but few people reference the fact that individuals by collective small acts have been able to destroy so much and that the negative energies of individuals have been most responsible for our dilemma. We regret what we have created but it proves the power of individual acts to alter the future—we only need to turn our creative powers to positive efforts and we collectively can reverse any unhealthy condition and create a magnificent future. You are a creator being and in our unity with the universe we are a creator being. The concept that we create our own reality is not a casual psychological touchstone but a fundamental truth proven time and again by the results of humankind’s acts. Negative thought processes and their resultant negative energies preceded all negative consequences. Affirmative thought processes and positive energies will create the healing of the planet, like the healing of the individual.
I was at Machu Picchu in Peru just prior to the iconic 12-21-12 predictor date of the Incan calendar. Many theories emerged regarding this purported end of this ancient civilization’s calendar, ranging from mass destruction to a new era of enlightenment. I saw the event as a message from the universe to refocus our energies around reconnecting to the planet and the cosmos and I took advantage of my trip to journey back to the indigenous civilization that had created these magnificent structures high in the Andes. In this astounding environment of temples and living quarters, I found the spirits to be highly active and very informative. At the highest point of the Machu Picchu urban area is the famous Intiwatana stone. This beautiful carved structure, at the pinnacle of a natural pyramid, with views of all of the surrounding holy mountains, was undoubtedly involved in religious ceremonies of the highest order. I located a somewhat secluded spot in an alcove in a wall next to the sacred stone. The stones of the walls constructed by the Incans are fitted together so perfectly that even modern engineers marvel at the accomplishment, but I found a small gap through which I could barely see the stone atop its rock altar table. I placed an offering to the ancient people and began my journey.
In the first part of my journey, I was taken immediately into the Incan temple activities. I heard and saw the ringing of bells and the sound of other instruments that were a part of the ceremonies. Chanting and singing filled my vision of the temple ritual. The date of my journey at this sacred site was November 1st, the day of the dead. This is the day when the ancestors are closest in contact to the living and I could feel their energies and presence. I called forth the benevolent ancestors and, as they joined in my reverie, together we called forth the benevolent descendants. I was amidst both the ancient holy ones and those who will come after us, those who will be part of the new earth.
In my journey, an ancestor approaches me in full regalia. He is exquisitely robed in rich colors—turquoise, reds, blues, and other bright brilliant colors. He is adorned with many gold ornaments and headdress with gold cuffs over his ears. As he comes nearer; he nods to me in acknowledgement and I am assured by his gesture that I am welcome. He passes some ritual objects to me and I hold them aloft, pointing at the Southern Cross, the astrological star system of the southern hemisphere. I can feel the activation of an energetic current, a cosmic dynamism that embodies an other-worldly vigor emanating from the ritual objects I hold in my hands and I sense the current breaking the sound barrier with a resultant booming noise. I understand the developing power to be a signal out across the heavens and other beings approach in response to the clarion call. My first impression is that they are the descendants, but I realize that they are connected to the ancient ancestors of Machu Picchu and I am overwhelmed and unsure how to react. I tell them from my heart that I have an intention of harmony, unity, global awareness, and love. The vibrations that emanate from me are infused with an understanding and awareness of the higher dimensions and the beings that are present affirm me. In this journey I see the possibilities of creating wholeness again and that each of us is significant in the healing of the planet.
My experience in Peru was important to me for a number of reasons. I discovered again the wisdom of indigenous people who see themselves as an integral part of their world and do not conceive of a fragmented universe with humankind as the dominant being. I experienced an affirmation that we are truly creator beings who possess the potential to initiate new positive energies that can reverse our decline if we hold to the positive vibrations that emerge from our collective powers to change our world and bring it into alignment with the perfection of the universe. Additionally, I experienced the understanding that the empowerment of humankind can create extraordinary conditions for transformation—both in our individual state as well as globally. The Incan people accomplished unbelievable feats through the power of their will and demonstrated the capacity of humankind to effect whatever change we desire.
The world is filled with wonder and possibilities and our world is only a small part of an even more amazing universe. We are each a microcosm of that universe. Within each of us lies the power of the cosmos. We are the ultimate creator beings.
LightSong School of 21st Century Shamanism and Energy Medicine
Gresham, OR 97080