Friday, May 20, 2022

 



THE FORCE OF THE PRIMAL # 8


“The sages who have died are present in this world to a greater extent than when they were alive.” The Zohar

 

Spirit guides are not subject to time and space.
They are always around but not always to be known, always within call but not always to be heard, always present but not always to be sensed, always holding us, but not always to be felt. The Ancestors


Just as sangomas and Bushmen healers believe in the power of ancestors and guides to help them so do other ancient wisdoms, both indigenous and non-indigenous. 

Sangomas and Bushman shamans are experts in obtaining non-local information from the other side of the veil between the worlds in dreams, trance possession, out of body travel and divination. 

The manner in which they do so differs. 


The San Bushmen in their out of body spirit trance dance actually fall motionless on the ground while their spirit travels across the veil to glean information. When the dancer returns to his/her body they transmit the wisdom to the clan to help them survive, heal and hunt.


The Bantu peoples and their sangomas in Southern Africa are distinctly different in appearance from their Bushmen neighbors. Voluntary trance possession by a spirit where the ego steps aside and a spirit takes over the body is distinctly part of sangoma tradition. It is not sanctioned by some because of the cosmic law of free will. This frowns upon giving up one’s identity to a spirit force no matter how vital the information or trustworthy the spirit. 

Trance-channeling, common in the West, where the spirit is remote from the body differs radically from trance possession.


“When a word is spoken in the name of its speaker his/her lips move in the grave. And the lips of him who utters the word move like those of the master who is dead. A sage cannot speak words of teaching unless s/he first links his soul to the soul of his dead teacher or to that of his teacher’s teacher.” Talmud

  

The Israelites were originally nature bound like indigenous peoples. They honored the directions and sacred plants such as myrtle, hyssop, cedar, palm and willow. Seasons and festivals, were determined by a Lunar Calendar. Earth and stones were imbued with spirit or animated by the breath of the Divine. Each plant was said to have an angel or a spirit watching over it.

The 12 tribes had totem animals. They used sound, incense and ritual bathing to cleanse and heal. Sangomas went further by placing sacred plants in their healing baths as passwords to the spirit world for specific healing intentions.

 

“God says, "I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities . . .” Ezekiel

 

Incense repels and clears dark forces within and without. Plant medicines were used for an array of issues.  Smudging and blowing medicinal smoke through a ram horn (shofar) could purify. Red string, stones and amulets were used for protection.


There are many similarities between the shamanic characteristics of the Israelites and Southern African indigenous traditions.

 Bones appear to have immense spiritual power. Elephants have been seen doing rituals with the bones of their departed ones. They visit elephant grave sites and have been filmed using their bones in a type of funeral procession where they walk in a line and hand a bone back along the line with their trunks (Cynthia Moss.) 

Animals and humans were said to be endowed with their own unique "essence" (Etzem in Kabbalah) resident in their bones. In the divination set of the sangoma, each animal is endowed with its own unique personality. For instance, the anteater is the animal that digs the grave, and this bone talks of death or spirits on the other side. When the bones are "thrown,"energetically by the presiding spirit in a form of telekinesis, the anteater bone, knows exactly where to fall, in what orientation to lie and what to tell. 

Ancient Hebrew shamans believed in the powers inherent in different animals – for instance, the eagle was an animal of compassion, the vulture was endowed with insight, and the raven was known to be the trickster. In sangoma medicine vulture medicine is used to facilitate one’s ability to “see” and divine.  


Animal sacrifice was practiced in Temple days by the Hebrews as the ultimate atonement for sins against God. For sangomas, animal sacrifice is the ultimate restitution that is made to an ancestor to reconcile guilt, shame and remorse, for releasing intrusive spirits and appeasing the dead. The cry of the sacrificial animal is believed to get the immediate attention of the spirit world. Sangoma initiation is predicated on this fact, requiring sacrifices to be made, usually of a goat or a chicken. It is done in a sacred manner and the meat is eaten and a portion left for the ancestors.

 Many of these principles can also be found among other indigenous peoples on different continents. They are universal truths, but our modern way of life has discarded this wisdom as primitive, superstitious thinking. 

God’s cosmic law is free will, and African understandings are well aware of this. It is implicit in the divinatory process and in dream interpretation. The bones and the dreams tell you “what to see, not what to be!” What you do with the information is up to you.


There is an “Old Testament-like” nature in much of what the indigenous peoples of Southern Africa believe and this existed long before the missionaries arrived and who focused mainly on the New Testament. 


These mystical cultures as well as the Druids and Celts were well aware of the power of tricksters and dark forces that could sabotage one’s life path, attempts at spiritual transformation or healing.

 

There is nothing you can think or intend that is not accessible to dark forces and that they will not attempt to corrupt. 

The Ancestors 

 

The dark side, sorcery and witchcraft were recognized by Kabbalah as part of the Omnipresent primordial light and darkness

“I create the light and the dark – choose light!”

Lucifer and the Nephilim (the fallen angels) are at the heart of this darkness. 

The influence of tricksters is well known amongst most indigenous peoples. They are also represented in the divination set of the sangoma.


There is a tribe in Southern Africa called the Balemba or the Lemba  that are unique in that they have always claimed that they were black Jews. Recently, genetic studies have proved them correct. In fact many were genetically found to be members of the priestly sect of the Israelites

Their traditions are similar to other neighboring tribes. Women are considered ritually impure during menstruation, as are medicine men or women who attend a corpse. Anyone who eats road kill or an animal that has died of natural causes is also impure. Bantu sangomas purify themselves before doing any divination or healing after attending a funeral. 

It is hard to know fact from legend, but the Lemba believe that they are descendants of Solomon. Possibly after Nebuchadnezzar sacked the temple, around 700 B.C., they may have migrated south instead of being forced into exile in Babylon. Alternatively, when the Israelites were released from exile in Babylon and allowed to return home, some may have migrated south instead. There are many theories as to their origins. They seem to have first journeyed to Yemen, to a place called Senna, where they lived for some time. They then crossed the Indian Ocean and trekked down the eastern side of Africa. Some migrated across the Limpopo River into what is now called Venda, while the rest remained in Zimbabwe. Still others earlier on might have gone west to Ethiopia to become the Falashas. There are also black Jews in Uganda.

The Lemba were also warriors with expertise in making metal weapons. The Great God, Mwari, gave them a sacred drum or Ngoma Lugundu, the drum that thunders. Before engaging in battle with tribes that opposed their safe passage, they would sound the drum, which apparently made them invincible. The drum was carried on poles, much like the Hebrew Ark of the Covenant, and was never to touch the ground. They were also duty-bound to keep to their traditions.

However, when they arrived at the Limpopo River, they intermarried and became lax with their laws. The sacred drum fell on the ground and was lost, and after that misfortune overtook them

The Lemba now are a paradoxical population of tens of thousands of self-proclaimed Jews who live mostly in Malawi, Zimbabwe and in Venda. Many today also follow Christianity or Islam but still proudly lay claim to their Jewish heritage. There are about 70,000 Lemba in Southern Africa. 

Many of the principles of Bantu spirituality are shared by the Lemba. The Lemba had no Torah and other Southern African tribes had no Bible, Koran, Vedas or sacred texts to learn from. Theirs was an oral tradition. 

The Bantu peoples, and the Bushmen of Southern Africa, have sophisticated psycho-spiritual abilities. We in the West, with all our education and technology seem to be lacking in these dimensions. 

An explanation for the advanced spiritual skills of Africa’s indigenous peoples may lie in the fact that they had been living in close proximity to nature and the earth - the Garden of Eden archetype. They learned  spiritual and healing secrets from their contact with nature, and being able to stay close to their primal intelligence and natural rhythms. Sadly, this pure indigenous knowledge, that has until recently only been taught by word of mouth, is now slowly being polluted by adoption of our modern way of life. 


"This is the original medicine and it will never change." 

P.H. Mntshali (my sangoma mentor.)


Within nature lies the secret tongue of the Great Spirit, or what Kabbalah would call the Sod – the secret. The Bushmen and the Bantu sangomas have studied and mastered the essence of this language from nature.


Ask of the wild animals and they shall teach you and the birds of the sky shall tell it to you or speak to the earth for she shall guide you and the fishes of the sea will declare it to you” Job






Sunday, May 15, 2022

 

THE FORCE OF THE PRIMAL # 7

After our short break ...

OTHER SPIRITUAL CAUSES OF "DIS"'-EASE, SICKNESS OR ILLNESS 

4.   Energetic or ritual pollution is a negative energetic imprint due to certain situations, places, articles, and especially to unskillful exposures to blood or death. 

One can find reference to pollution or ritual impurity in Leviticus. In biblical times, anyone who had been in contact with a dead body, or who had eaten an animal that had not been killed in a "kosher" manner, was not allowed back into the community until he or she had been purified. Kosher killing and preparation of meat requires the humane exsanguination of only certain animals and then extracting the remaining blood with the help of sea salt.

Religious Jewish women are not allowed to be in contact with their husbands during menstruation. 

Native Americans have similar beliefs around menstruation and a woman is not allowed to participate in a sweat lodge during this time.

Sangomas also recognize a state of ritual impurity resulting from sex during menses, contact with a corpse, and eating a dead animal found in the bush or road kill. Blood which carries the life force is seen to have power. Sangoma believe this effect can be too "strong" for a man if sex occurs on a woman's moon cycle.

Ritual impurity can also occur after a journey, and in possessing certain objects that may have been used for negative purposes. One should be careful of buying antiques or decorating with certain objects  that may have been used in dark ceremonies.

In sangoma belief and in the Bible, land or places can be polluted or cursed. Sometimes fire is the only thing that can purify demonic evil and malevolence. 


"You shall tear down their altars and smash their sacred pillars and burn their Asherim with fire, and you shall cut down the engraved images of their gods and obliterate their name from that place." Deuteronomy


Demonic worship is often practiced with such zealotry, determination and passion that its power has a lasting force for captivating and destroying. 

It is best that one not try to remove the rotten and decaying apples from the pile, but rather move the good apples far away. In some instances, if the stench and rot still present danger, then it may be appropriate for a cleansing, sterilizing and purifying to take place, but only by knowledgeable specialists in such matters. The Ancestors


Places with water are difficult to purify, water having consciousness, holds on to the profane vibrations.


 “God’s purpose in so treating man is to lead him to himself and away from the pit.” Job.

 

It seems that Southern African primal wisdom was also well aware of the subtle energies that can lead humans to the “pit.”

5.   Witchcraft or sorcery and the commandment, “Thou shalt not covet” was an edict against the evil "wind" or dark spirits, the evil eye, the evil tongue and the evil inclination. Witchcraft and sorcery are recognized as arising from someone with a heart of envy. Envy leads to covetousness which can have malignant consequences to a victim subjected to witchcraft as well as severe karmic consequences to the perpetrator.

6.    Soul loss or soul sickness. Described as follows by the Ancestors.

The soul yearns to do the creator’s will and clings to the body when all is well. Soul dysfunctions, which are many, and a body caught up in cravings and attached to sentient pleasures distances the soul.
The soul withdraws causing “sickness.”
The body’s attachment to unskillful sentient pleasures needs to be broken so the soul (or essence) can return to the body.


“Because of the sound of my sighing has my essence cleaved onto my flesh…”

… Is speaking of the soul’s essence lodging comfortably in the body. 


The right sound is crucial in breaking down or chasing away resistances. Sound shatters and crumbles barriers to the mind and heart. Sound speaks to one’s vibrations. One of the best ways to cleanse and clear oneself of the cloyingness of dark forces is to dispel or change the effect of their energy with sound.


Tibetan gongs, crystals bowls, didgeridoos, horns, rattles etc.


With song you can open the gates of heaven.” The Talmud

“We pray by singing and dancing.”  San Bushmen and Bantu peoples 

Causes of soul sickness or loss include; addiction, to drugs alcohol, sex, gambling; severe trauma, illness or abuse; grief from loss of a job, a loved one or one's health; severe anger, hatred, malice, envy, fear, burn out, isolation and a lack of meaning in one's existence


Like sound, incense repels and clears dark forces within and without.  Smudging and blowing medicinal smoke can purify. 


" The incense offering is a most potent antidote against dark forces." The Zohar


The Ancestors advise against the Buddhist practice of Tonglin unless one's vibration is sufficiently advanced to be able to handle the negative energy one is breathing in. Safer to breath in white healing light and transmit it to those who need it.


Regarding “Tonglin; the Buddhist practice of inhaling negativity, pain, suffering, dark thoughts and evil -- breathing it in with the objective of transforming it into light and then breathing it out as positive, happy, healed and healing… Consider that only enlightened beings may have enough light and compassion in them to take on evil and transform it.
Some may argue that they may not be enlightened but that their spirit guides help with the work and protect the container. That being so, still great care should be taken…
Repairing the world is a different mission from taking on and transforming other people's evil and in the process maybe damaging oneself.


Red is a protective, cleansing color not only among Kabbalists but also in sangoma medicine and universally. Plants used for ritual purification because of sex during menses are frequently red in color. Purification in the Old Testament was done with water, fortified with the ashes from a red heifer, the red dye of a particular worm and cedar. 

There are many ways to correct these disorders with prayer, ritual, sacred plants, exorcism (Femba in Zulu tradition,) incense and with love, laughter, sound and song. Red string, stones and amulets can be used for protection.




Saturday, April 9, 2022



 THE FORCE OF THE PRIMAL # 6

LESSONS FOR US

When we immerse in nature and "go primitive," it really is not primitive at all. It can be spiritually sophisticated. We are able to access some of the long forgotten powers we once had eons ago. Our dreams can be personally prophetic and we become more intuitive. We may even start to acknowledge that ...

“The body is not what it seems …It is not a solid mass but a system of little particles or points of energy separated from each other by space and held in place by an electrically balanced field. When these particles are not in their proper place then disease manifests in the body. Spiritual healing is one way of bringing the particles back into harmonious relationship.”  Olgar Worrall

Spontaneous remission of diseases have been reported in sacred places such as Lourdes in France but shamans, indigenous healers, medicine men and women have also been able to achieve the miraculous - usually labelled suspect or anecdotal by the medical profession. Here is a description from a woman who was cured of breast cancer in a ritual in the jungle.


My cells were alive, beating the rhythm of the cosmos. Some were spontaneously regenerating sending live signals to others beside them. The dark spots in my breast were black holes sucking energy into another sphere, one in which living cells were doomed… I cried in pain as I watched his hand magnetize the black smoke. It spread like army ants in file and followed his motion away from my body.  M. De Wys


These are some of the phenomena which can happen from common to rare:

Synchronicity begins to show up for us.

We become more "Coherent" with ourselves, other beings around us and with the cosmos. This has also been described as the "Maharishi Effect." The Maharishi university found that when a critical number of people in an area meditated the crime rate in that city declined. Prayers for peace can also work.

We may experience "Superfluidity" also called "being in the zone." This is well described in athletes and others, when a sense of flow takes over and they perform beyond what is usual for themselves.

Other more highly developed paranormal skills include; precognition, telepathy, clairvoyance, clairaudience or sentience, telekinesis, remote viewing or distant diagnosis and distant healing. Hunter-gatherers and indigenous peoples have mastered some of these. No single person will have all or even several of them. We are all uniquely adapted to develop our own particular spiritual talent and should not perseverate on trying to get those that were not given to us to by the Creator. Many have other non-paranormal talents instead.
 

There are also spiritual "dis-eases" unknown to western medicine or psychiatry that are well known to shamans but may have varying descriptions depending on the culture. Those that I have gleaned from sangomas and inyangas in Southern Africa can be described as follows. 

1.   Disease just happens. We really often do not know why some people get sick and others do not. someone once said; anyone who is not confused here really does not understand what is going on.

2.   The Great Spirit or the ancestors or our guides can create disease usually through omission of their protection rather than commission or malicious intent. Evil spirits can create "dis"- ease which can cause sickness.

Would be initiates can suffer the Ancestor sickness (“Thwasa” or the “ Calling” sickness) because of the presence of a spirit guide/s creating an energetic field around them. This will get the attention of the living one. This energy can be disruptive causing maladies which will defy an allopathic diagnosis.

3.   Spiritual intrusions due to hauntings can arise from various situations such as earth-bound spirits or ancestors seeking forgiveness. 

        Earth bound spirits usually result from a sudden, traumatic, confused death. When the spirit departs from the body it may not see the light or hear the ancestors calling them home. The spirit may become stuck on the wrong side of the the veil between the worlds. Many may not know they are earthbound and some may not even think they are dead. They need to be guided back across the veil by someone experienced and competent in this type of healing.  Earthbound spirits are more easily seen in dreams and visitation while others who have crossed over may have more difficulty in traversing the veil to "visit" the living.

 Spiritual intrusions can also occur because of the dead seeking forgiveness for abuses perpetrated on the living. When we go to the other side we face a spiritual tribunal and have to reconcile with our karma. If we have done something bad to another living being we are accountable unless we are forgiven. Forgiveness can release us from our karmic misfortunes. This is best done before death but can be done after, with ritual, and with the assistance of someone knowledgeable.   

  There is nothing good about being haunted either by an earthbound spirit in one's home or someone who has passed on and needs forgiveness. They may cause energetic dysfunction such as anxiety, depression, bad luck, difficulty with relationships etc. 

 Many cultures describe various non-human spirits which are believed real by some such as; trolls, elves, fairies, gnomes, goblins etc. Indigenous peoples in Southern Africa differentiate between non-human spirits; bush or terrestrial spirits, cosmic and water spirits – some good and some bad - the worst of all being the Tokolosh. The water spirit or Unzunzu is key in the initiation of a sangoma. 

Kabbalah describes Sheyds and Dybbuks which are dysfunctional human spirits. Sheyds or intrusive spirits are not necessarily evil but their energetic effects can be disruptive. Interestingly in South Africa these intrusive spirits are also called Shades. The Hebrew for Sheyd is a ghost – Sheydim – the plural form. 

A Dybbuk is a disembodied human spirit that, because of former sins, wanders restlessly until it finds a haven in the body of a living person because it has little hope of redemption and reincarnation and this is the only way it can again experience sensory pleasures. 

True spirit possession, though very rare, is real, not only to the Catholic church but also in African and Kabbalistic belief. It requires someone very skilled to remove it. The Baal Shem Tov, a Chassidic mystic and Jesus were both know to do exorcisms as do Catholic priests.


I will be taking a blog break. We will continue the blog in a mid-May and complete the other spiritual illnesses we all need to know about.

Farewell to winter - hello to spring.





Friday, April 1, 2022

 



 

 THE FORCE OF THE PRIMAL # 5

LESSONS FOR US


FINDING PRIMAL MIND IN NATURE

  

How can we become more primal in Nature?

This requires a shift in receptivity as well as an inner intention 

with the focus on fully experiencing all of Her polarities. By keeping as close as possible to the hunter gatherer or minimalistic model the magic can occur.  This means having as little as possible separating us from the power of wild things.

Five days is ideal if feasible.

With time we become more intuitive and our dreams can be profound as we can tap into the primal polarities more deeply as transformation and also as medicine.  

Attend to only our basic needs. These are; being safe, climatically comfortable, adequately fed and hydrated. 

 Knowing something about wilderness psychology, the hunter gatherer model and ancient wisdoms can enhance the journey. These can help to inform us where we have been, what is important now and where we still need to go. The journey can become our own vision quest especially if we use the three stages of the Hero/ine's journey as a template:

 Separation - Threshold (the primal experience itself) - Incorporation (on the return.)

 This inner journey can create spiritual epiphanies that I 

have called wilderness rapture which are similar to Maslow’s Peak 

Experiences and other inner empowerments or “oneness” experiences described in yoga texts. 

 The following is a summary of some of their manifestations.  

  

 Being or feeling more like one’s true Self.   


 An appreciation of awe, oneness, wonder, transcendence - peak or oneness experience (unity consciousness.)  


 Humility, ego subordination and a realization that any control one thinks one has over nature is an illusion. 

 

 Becoming more pleasant and affable with fellow travelers.  


 A connection with, and a sense of comfort in wilderness. 

 

 A sense of renewal, and aliveness, feeling less cluttered, more 

mindful and focused.  


 An appreciation of alone time, for many being the most powerful.   


 Major life style changes on the return. 

Release from habits and addictions of the past from minor to major.

  

 Before one ventures into the wild outdoors there may be a sense of 

uneasiness which creates the need for much preparation. 

Often a sense of duality is apparent. To nature bound peoples there was no such duality. We, however, often feel that we are “here” and 

wilderness is out “there.” Finally, on the journey, we enter and 

imperceptibly become part of the wilderness and a sense of balance and harmony supervenes.  

 These experience can sometime lead to the phenomenon of 

“Re-entry Depression” 

which can be considered a manifestation of how potent the inner effect of the journey has been. Some will encounter a sense of loss when they come home. Paradoxically, this depression occurs in the face of a demonstrable restorative effect. The re-entry depression seems to be a result of having been in an altered state of consciousness and upon the return there is a dramatic shift as one is propelled back into a normal state of awareness. The severity of the depression is directly related to the inner intensity and effect of the journey coupled with the resignation that one now has returned to the frustrations of ordinary life. Often the harder the home and work circumstances, the greater the depression. Intensifying one's spiritual practice combined with patience is effective and the depression usually resolves spontaneously after about three weeks.  


 If we analyze the mystical effect of the wilderness we see similar 

principles described by Eastern philosophies, such as; being in the 

present moment, an unconditional positive regard for one another, 

suspending judgment of others, coming closer to one’s 

true sense of Self and being less egocentric and more humble. 

The ultimate goal of these philosophies is to leave the duality of 

everyday existence behind and reach for the more profound state of 

“oneness” or non-duality, if only to have a sense of it. Even without any esoteric practices it is easy to appreciate a sense of the interconnectedness of all beings and things when one has been out in nature for some time. When we subordinate ego to the Self, these changes can occur.  


 The following principles can enhance the inner aspect of the 

wilderness journey.  

Sleep on the earth around a fire, feel the elements, immerse oneself in the Soft Fascinations. Nature being feminine helps us to embrace the more internal, intuitive and creative parts of our psyches. 

Avoid time restraints, survival situations and goals (bagging peaks, running rivers.) Cameras, alcohol and similar conditionings should be minimized. 

Allow time for inner practices even beyond the more common Eastern meditations like drumming, sketching, singing, chanting, meditative slow walking and ritual. 


Transcendent and Peak Experiences

“Wilderness Rapture"

 What greatly differs is the vastness of the territory, variety of the forces, purity of the pristine and magnitude of the drama and majesty. The more splendid and awesome the less need for a teacher other than itself and you. The Ancestors

“Wilderness rapture” is a way of being, a way of experiencing which can be sought wherever one is. We can hear it in the sound of rain, feel it in a fallen feather and see it in a spider's web. There are everyday wild wonders that are unheard and overlooked which seem far remote from wilderness until we realize how perception of the smallest bit of wild can connect to our higher Self.  Nature reveals, inspires, encourages and shows the way. The Ancestors

 To achieve is to be externally oriented but to attain deeper effects we need to let go of the attachment to accomplish anything. Goal orientation and rapture are mutually exclusive in the present moment. We begin with a purpose but once the intention is set we need to disengage our craving for an explicit outcome. This is the crux between balancing the inner and the outer.

Balance is achieved by harmonizing polarities. Dualities come into harmony by negotiating a third or middle path, a path not of assimilation but a path of coexistence.  The Ancestors


Here are some poetic descriptions of the oneness experience, peak experience, wilderness rapture or whatever one chooses to call it where the

Knower - The Known - the Process of Knowing

all fuse into one thing.


Haze hung over the valley, light as gossamer and clouds partially dimmed the higher cliffs and mountains. This obscurity of vision but increased the awe with which I beheld it and as I looked a peculiar exalted sensation seemed to fill my whole being and I found my eyes in tears with emotion. 

L. Bunnell when first entering Yosemite with the first white settlers ever to see it.


"And then it was as if all the chains of a type of slavery dropped from me with such a rush that they tinkled and rattled in my imagination… a great rush of emotion swept over me that was impossible to describe, except that all its urges and manifestations met in a wordless cry; 'I have come home'! 

L. Van der Post after returning from the Second World War and having being interned in a Japanese concentration camp with all of its malignant implications. He believed this experience cured him of much of his suffering.


Sunday, March 27, 2022




 

THE FORCE OF THE PRIMAL # 4

LESSONS FOR US

 

“I only went out for a walk and finally decided to stay until sundown, for going out, I discovered, was actually going in.” John Muir

 

Somewhere beyond the walls of our awareness, the Esau side, the hunter side, the seeking side of ourselves is waiting to return.” L. Van der Post

                                   

We cannot retain the purity of the hunter-gatherer's indigenous soul but we can retain their consciousness if we choose to appreciate and learn it. The best way to do this is to simulate the hunter-gatherer experience as much as feasible by having as little between us and nature as possible.

 

Nature’s Sacred Space.

 

The soul's fulfillment is through the experience of the senses.
The soul's conversation is not of the mind. It is best heard with the senses.

From my flesh shall I behold God.

The route to God is through the senses.

 

If we immerse in nature in the right way we can experience the sensory, "Soft Fascinations" that enable a meditative state. This can include a sense of equanimity, balance and harmony, recognized as an alpha rhythm on an electroencephalogram. 

These fascinations include: The meditative mantra of the bush - its plethora of insect, bird and animal sounds. The sound of the wind in the trees and those of a babbling brook. The sights, scenes, scents and aromas. The harmony and complexity of the “mini-fields” – an ant or termite colony or a beehive. They are further enhanced by the daily, monthly, and seasonal cycles leading to entrainment with the rhythms of the nature. The hunter-gatherers had their own zen or yoga in wild places. With right intention nature can also meditate us.

 

God’s rivers of pleasure and good are fed by the watershed of the soul’s capacity for enjoyment and of their emptying into its ocean.

 

The ancient sages taught that the mystery of who we are is contained in the four winds and that without them none of creation would exist.

 

Each of the Four Beings of nature is animated by the breath (wind) of the Creator. Each with its own unique vibration and each with its own consciousness, related to the density of that vibration. When we are alone in nature for long enough we can begin to sense this. Five days  would be ideal, also with a lot of alone time.

 

“If the people had not been gifted with Divinely inspired scriptures, they could have learned all they needed to know from the animals themselves.” The Zohar

“There is not a single blade of grass that is born of the earth that does not carry within her immense wisdom and immense heavenly power.


Humility and awe let one see most clearly and hear most truly.” 
The Zohar

“Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.” 
Kahlil Gibran

 

Before civilization developed the Hero/ine's quest of necessity occurred in wilderness. Today many are still venturing into wild places to attain inner guidance and hopefully a vision of who they are and what they need to do.

Wilderness, wild places - or nature in any ideal circumstance - can be used as sacred space for the quest. It may be done elsewhere but She is a preferred environment.

 

“A human cannot live and temper his/her metal without honor. There is deep within him/her a sense of heroic quest and our modern way of life with its emphasis on security, its distrust of the unknown and its elevation of abstract collective values has repressed the heroic impulse to a degree that may produce the most dangerous consequences.”  

 L. Van der Post

 

If we immerse ourselves inwardly in nature She can present us with all the polarities required for growth. Wildness was the classroom for  indigenous people – the supreme test that could test one’s metal.

 

“If we are willing to open up to it then it is just the unknown, the unplanned, the unexpected, the unfamiliar which can best teach us. In the tiny prefix “un” which so often spells trouble, lies the potential for change, for the new, for the hitherto unconsidered, unimagined, unrealized.” R. Hinshaw

 

The Vision Quest

"So the young man went North seeking the “Singing Stone.” After many adventures he arrived in the North and found his grandfather sitting upon a stone waiting for him. The Singing Stone is not to the North said the grandfather, it is to the South. So he journeyed South and after many adventures he found a dragonfly. The Singing Stone is not to the South sang the dragonfly it is to the West. So he journeyed West and found a mouse. The mouse answered the Singing Stone is not to the West it is to the East. So he journeyed East and after many adventures he arrived at a strange camp. He headed towards the camp but pulled up short when he saw the paintings and signs on the lodges were foreign. He decided to go ahead in spite of the “Bow of Tension Pulled within Him.” Finally he reached the circle of lodges. Then his sisters, mothers, brothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers, uncles and aunts and all his relatives came out to greet him saying, welcome to our Counsel Fire Singing Stone." H. Storm


Many indigenous peoples had rites of passage and initiations for their youth - something lacking in modern societies. This enabled the initiate to cross the threshold from adolescent into adulthood and taking the appropriate responsibilities for sake of the tribe that suited their signature or core strength, their destiny or purpose. 

For Native Americans it was the Vision Quest where also adults seeking clarity would venture into nature's sacred space alone and fast for a vision, a dream or a message. Fasting was a key component of the journey. Westerners now are doing the same quest usually for four days of alone time with fasting followed by   a reintegration or incorporation phase.

The polarities they encountered may have included; terrified/tranquil, hard/soft, hot /cold, heat exhaustion/freezing, hungry/satiated, starving/renewed, thirsty/quenched, dehydrated/replenished, dark/light, sun/moon, sickness/healing, metaphoric death and rebirth. 

 

Without taking such drastic challenges - nature's polarities can still help us find either clarity or the middle way of the Buddha.

 

Balance is achieved by harmonizing polarities. Dualities come into harmony by negotiating a third or middle path... 

 

The fundamental notion of equilibrating the opposites is omnipresent in all beliefs. This universal truth is crucial to our understanding of how we transcend and transform.  

 

The most profound sound of all is that of silence – not the silence that is the absence of noise, of quietness, but that in which we hear the longings of our heart and ponder our response.

 

We are even able to hear the soft, still, silent voice of the Creator if ego is put aside and we listen carefully. God wants a personal relationship with us but most of us cannot imagine this is possible. We are here to co-create with the Creator. S/He needs us to help complete creation. 

If we venture forth into nature - the more wild the better - for a reasonable amount of time, we begin to bond with the three other beings of nature.  Power plants and or power animals present themselves in our relaxed state and can guide us with messages and metaphors of where we need to be next and what we need to release from in order to get to a new phase in our lives. Our dreams improve as do our intuitive senses.