Recieved: 1999/11/27 18:57
Subject: Re: [K-list] Trees and Shamanic views
From: Steve Salter
On 1999/11/27 18:57, Steve Salter posted thus to the K-list:
I cannot comment on all the nice verbage you input here except I have to say:
I HUG TREES!
yeah, maybe I am a throwback to the 60s but I walk out my backdoor and within 1
minute I am into the forest. I find a beech or oak or hickory tree and put my
arms around it and .... go null.
I just absorb what I can from this enduring, calm and magnificent tree.
> Another tree story: I'd told my friend H. about my "hug a tree" adventure and
> she remembered it when she was on a weekend camping trip with some friends in
> northern California. Without telling her friends what she was up to, H.
> wandered off from their camp ground until she found a big old tree with a lot
> of character and gave it a hug. Soon after she embraced it, H. got a very
> strong message: "Earthquake!"
> It seemed weird -- she had never had a psychic experience with another
> species before -- but recalling my story, she took it seriously. She was
> starting back to warn the others when she was thrown to the ground, courtesy
> of a seismically feisty (I think it was a 6.0) quake. The epicenter was in a
> sparsely populated woods area, so fortunately it caused little human injury
> or damage to homes. H. came out of it without a scratch, as did her friends.
> I'd read somewhere that before the advent of telephones and voice mail,
> Aborigines communicated long distance perfectly well through trees. If they
> wanted to send a message to a relative or another tribe, they told it to a
> nearby tree. The trees passed the message along, so that any tree in a
> fairly wide radius would carry the message to whoever cared to listen in.
> I was trying to find the book that told about that, and instead came across
> some interesting stuff about Aboriginal and general indigenous/shamanic
> systems in Robert Lawlor's "Voices of the First Day." Aborigines knew about
> K -- it's in their sacred "Rainbow Serpent." Lawlor says: "the serpent is
> always associated with vibration and flowing energy fields... The Rainbow
> Serpent is the first cosmological model for the spectral order of universal
> energy... All radiation has the same velocity and the same electromagnetic
> nature; the only difference between parts of the spectrum are frequency and
> wave length. The electromagnetic spectrum, like the Rainbow Serpent, is a
> profound metaphor for the unity that exists between the tangible and the
> invisible worlds." (p. 115)
> Lawlor also addresses the differences between indigenous and patriarchal
> religions. He points out that Christianity and Buddhism focus on the
> individual "by concentrating on personal salvation and enlightenment." (You
> have to get YOURSELF saved or enlightened before you're qualified to run
> around proselytizing to everyone else.) Lawlor says: "Buddhist meditation
> and Christian prayer place the individual in the center of spiritual life.
> Although the ego is considered the source of evil and suffering, it is
> nonetheless the center of attention." The spiritual practices of Eastern
> traditions are designed "to turn the attention to the individual's inner
> thoughts and mental activities. Mastery of ... mind and perception is
> considered essential to achieving the ultimate state through meditation."
> The self-oriented (or me-and-God) "process of prayer and meditation is in
> stark contrast to Aborginal spirituality which, through ever-deepening
> perception, opens outward to empathize and identify with every aspect of a
> living, active world." (p. 234)
> Aboriginal children are taught compassion from infancy. "Whenever a weak,
> ill, or harmless person or creature passes the child's path, the mother
> fusses over it and showers it with attention, even if it is a scraggly
> lizard... Food is never denied to anyone or any creature that is hungry...
> The constant maternal dramatization of compassion in the early years orients
> a child's emotions toward empathy, support, warmth, and generosity... Any
> adult who does not show emotional empathy with the surrounding world is
> thought to be 'like a rock' and is considered to be 'not quite human.'" (p.
> This isn't to suggest the Major religions don't stress compassion -- they do.
> Yet often this is considered secondary to the real goal of personal
> salvation or ego-transcendence or whatever, while to most indigenous peoples,
> heart-centered relationship is the essence of spirituality.
> Again, Lawlor explains the difference:
> "The unrelenting absolute eternal ground beyond all differentiation, which
> many meditational philosophies seek as a goal of spiritual life, is for the
> Aborigines as well as the ancient Egyptians to be avoided -- it means an end
> to participation in the continually unfolding cycles of creation.
> Meditational philosophies speak of one's spirit being absorbed into the
> uncreative eternity, just as 'pure water blends with pure water and will,
> henceforth, never more separate in eternity.'" The goal of permanently
> dissolving oneself into ego-less All-ness "is nihilistic and abhorrent to the
> creation-loving, adventurous soul of the Aboriginal Dreaming.
> "Eastern meditative asceticism and Western productive materialism both result
> from the polarization of humanity's spiritual vision. As Carl Jung pointed
> out, they are like the left and right hand of the same body, each fulfilling
> and complementing the other. In recent years, the attraction between them
> has manifested in the numbers of educated, privileged Westerners who assume
> orange robes and begging bowls and enter severe monastic practices, while the
> Eastern swamis and yogis purchase Mercedes and establish corporate
> organizations and institutions. The ancient shamanic religious practices are
> the body or central core of the left and right arms of materialism and
> asceticism, integrating the two extremes and including all the intermediate
> levels of nature and consciousness." (p. 363)
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