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The Four Pillars of Disaster Shamanism

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“We need shamans, and if society doesn’t provide them, the universe will.” ~Joe Lewels

In the article The Archetypal Path to Getting Your S*** Together, I wrote about the power of archetypes. A Disaster Shaman is an example of using an archetype to make the world a better place; to become the change we want to see in the world.

The Disaster Shaman recipe combines aspects of The Shadow with aspects of The Hero and then mixes in a little Trickster tomfoolery. The combination of these archetypes creates a particular flavor of nontraditional shamanism that spearheads healthy Cosmic Law through the heart of unhealthy lawfulness.

A Disaster Shaman is a force of nature first, a person second; sowing radical revolution in order to reap progressive evolution. Healthy balance is primary. Even if it comes at the expense of comfort and security. Disaster Shamanism (otherwise known as Apocalyptic Shamanism) is the interdependent shamanic response to apocalyptic times.

The primary tasks of a Disaster Shaman are as follows:

–Heal disaster situations through shamanic cosmology and ecopsychology.

–Listen to Universal Laws to discern the difference between healthy and unhealthy.

–Live moderately so that others may moderately live.

–Diagnose and heal Nature Deprivation.

–Transform weaponry into livingry.

–Bring “water” to the Wasteland.

The sub archetypes of the Disaster Shaman archetype are The New Hero, The Fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse, The Sacred Clown, and The New Oracle. The four pillars of Disaster Shamanism subsume these sub archetypes. Let’s break them down…

Hero-expiation (New Hero or Cosmic Hero):

“Our sole responsibility is to produce something smarter than we are; any problems beyond that are not ours to solve.” ~Ray Kurzweil

The average person is not heroic (courageous). Likewise, the average hero is not prestigious (provident). A New Hero, as opposed to a typical hero, is a hero with prestige. A New Hero has gone Meta with the concept of heroism itself.

The New Hero sub archetype is the first pillar of Disaster Shamanism. New heroism is gained through hero-expiation. Hero-expiation is the voluntary, wise, honorable, moral, and compassionate distribution of power so that power doesn’t get to the point that it corrupts.

It is through the wise distribution of power that a typical hero becomes a New-hero (cosmic hero, next-level hero) with skill, power, honor, and prestige, as opposed to just a typical hero with only skill and power.

Hero expiation is all about getting power over power. Whether one’s own power or the overreaching power of others. It’s about turning the tables on entrenched power by “counting coup” on it.

A Disaster Shaman as New Hero is a social leveling mechanism par excellence. They count coup on power through strategic humiliation (shaming) so that power never has the chance to become absolute.

When a New Hero comes to town, fear-filled blue pills are swapped with wisdom-filled red pills. The Disaster Shaman has come to set the record straight. To recondition the culture that has been conditioned into believing in competition over cooperation and narrow-minded one-upmanship over open-minded compassion. They teach that competition has always been secondary to cooperation; otherwise we wouldn’t have survived as a species (Darwin).

Eco-consciousness (Fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse):

“Extreme positions are not succeeded by moderate ones, but by contrary extreme positions.” ~Friedrich Nietzsche

Eco-consciousness is about uncontrolled order overcoming controlled chaos. Whether the culture (tribe) has become too obese, too greedy, too violent or some other unhealthy excess, the Disaster Shaman arrives to set the record straight; to plant a seed of overt moderation within the covert immoderation.

The Fifth Horseman is the one that cleans up after the original Four Horsemen (the Four Horsemen is a metaphor for anyone caught up (aware or not) in any kind of unsustainable, unhealthy, violent, immoral, or mass-destructive social system). The Fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse is an archetype representing rebirth and renewal in the face of conquest, war, famine, and death.

The Fifth Horseman is ruthless with her healing powers. Her name is Providence, Phoenix-like, she rises up from the ashes of war & decay to spread self-actualized love, open-mindedness, and progressive sustainability by digging up the decay and unsustainable residue of past and present civilizations and then using it all as compost in cultivating and growing a healthier more balanced future.

In that capacity she has devoted herself to planting gardens of eco-centric heroism in the humus of war, hate, close-mindedness and greed, and anything else left behind by the original four horsemen. She is dedicated to, as Buckminster Fuller said, transforming weaponry into livingry.

She subsumes the original four horsemen by teaching them that the new definition of right & wrong must be derived from the universal dictation of healthy & unhealthy rather than the human opinion of good & evil.

The Fifth Horseman is the Goddess of Recompense. She is the Verdant Force. She is the soft hammer of evolution. She has come to blur the false boundaries that have been erected between nature and the human soul.

She is Gaia. She is Lady Justice. She is the return of the Sacred Feminine. She is all of us, men and women, realizing that we are nature first and humans second, that we are soul first and ego second. She is weighing the worth of the human world with the Scales of Justice. With or without us, she will not fail to bring water to the wasteland.

High humor (Sacred Clown):

“What is a tragedy but a misunderstood comedy.” ~Shakespeare

Most of us are familiar with the prototypical clowns: red-nosed clowns, court jesters, and Tarot fools. But sacred clowns take clowning to a whole other level.

Almost all types of sacred clowns combine trickster spirit with shamanic wisdom to create a kind of sacred tomfoolery that keeps the zeitgeist in check. Their methods are unconventional and typically antithetical to the status quo, but extremely effective. They indirectly re-enforce societal customs by directly enforcing their own powerful sense of humor into the social dynamic.

The main function of a sacred clown is to deflate the ego of power by reminding those in power of their own fallibility, while also reminding those who are not in power that power has the potential to become corrupt if it’s not balanced with other forces, namely with humor. But sacred clowns don’t out-rightly derive things. They’re not comedians, per se. Though they can be. They are more like personified trickster gods, poking holes in things that people take too seriously.

Through acts of satire and showy displays of blasphemy, sacred clowns create a cultural dissonance born from their Crazy Wisdom, from which serious anxiety is free to collapse on itself into sincere laughter.

The high humor of Sacred Clowns leads to a higher courage and the audacity to speak truth to power. And they do so with silver-tongued proficiency. There exists no perceived construct of power that’s above their enlightened rebellion. No idol too golden. No high horse too high. No pedestal too revered. No “wizard” too disguised. No God too godly. No title too contrived.

Nothing is immune to the exactness of a Sacred Clown’s rebellion. It’s all merely procrastinating compost. It’s all just well-arranged armor waiting to rust. It’s all an illusion within a delusion. And the Sacred Clown has the enlightened sense of humor to reveal that absolute fact.

Lest we write our lives off to unhealthy stagnation and devolving inertia, we must become something that has the power to perpetually overcome itself. The sacred clown has this power. Paraphrasing William Blake, “If the fool (Sacred Clown) would persist in his folly, he would become wise (New Oracle).”

Self-overcoming (New Oracle):

“To attain knowledge, add things every day. To attain wisdom, remove things every day.” ~Lao Tzu

A Disaster Shaman is a New Oracle who has come to inform the old oracles that they have failed. The self-centered “culture” has been declared a wasteland, and the unhealthy surroundings dubbed unworthy for healthy humans attempting to evolve into a more robust species.

The New Oracle teaches this, above all: Pain should not be avoided at the expense of love. Love should be embraced at the risk of pain.

As such, a master with high humor is needed to resolve the disaster of the self; to usher in an eco-centric, as opposed to an ego-centric, perspective. This master lies dormant inside us all. It can only be found by having the out-of-mind experience of no-mind, in the courageous throes of self-overcoming. There, in the stillness, the master is meditating. The master is connected to the source of all things, his thousand-petalled lotus spinning like a galaxy above his head.

He is radiating inside of you, bursting with wisdom and nth-degree-questions. She pirouettes like Shakti. He foxtrots like Shiva. He/she is the all-dancing, all-laughing oracle of the primordial self, interconnected with all things. And it can only be found there in the silence, between inhale and exhale, between being and non-being, between mind and no-mind, between finitude and infinity.

After disaster, but just before mastery, the Disaster Shaman as New Oracle persistently self-actualizes toward enlightenment.

There, above thought, is the source of human creativity: the place where artists, poets, musicians, and even scientists have discovered the secrets of the universe. Like Leonard Cohen said, “You lose your grip, and then you slip into the masterpiece.”

The mind of Everything holds the heart of Nothingness; the void of Nothingness holds the core of Everything. The masterpiece is the working, self-overcoming, canvas of the New Oracle’s life. The New Oracle is forever in the process of seizing the moment in order to seize the day in order to seize the life.

In the end, the Disaster Shaman is a healthy response to our unhealthy times. Wielding the courage of the New Hero, brandishing the mettle of the Fifth Horseman, harnessing the humor of the Sacred Clown, and channeling the wisdom of the New Oracle, the Disaster Shaman is determined to tonalize an otherwise atonal world.


Image: BABAROGA/Shutterstock.

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Consciousness

Physicists Suggest All Matter Could Be Made Up of Energy ‘Fragments’

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Matter is what makes up the Universe, but what makes up matter? This question has long been tricky for those who think about it – especially for the physicists.

Reflecting recent trends in physics, my colleague Jeffrey Eischen and I have described an updated way to think about matter. We propose that matter is not made of particles or waves, as was long thought, but – more fundamentally – that matter is made of fragments of energy.

From Five to One

The ancient Greeks conceived of five building blocks of matter – from bottom to top: earth, water, air, fire and aether. Aether was the matter that filled the heavens and explained the rotation of the stars, as observed from the Earth vantage point.

These were the first most basic elements from which one could build up a world. Their conceptions of the physical elements did not change dramatically for nearly 2,000 years.

Then, about 300 years ago, Sir Isaac Newton introduced the idea that all matter exists at points called particles. One hundred fifty years after that, James Clerk Maxwell introduced the electromagnetic wave – the underlying and often invisible form of magnetism, electricity and light.

The particle served as the building block for mechanics and the wave for electromagnetism – and the public settled on the particle and the wave as the two building blocks of matter. Together, the particles and waves became the building blocks of all kinds of matter.

This was a vast improvement over the ancient Greeks’ five elements but was still flawed. In a famous series of experiments, known as the double-slit experiments, light sometimes acts like a particle and at other times acts like a wave. And while the theories and math of waves and particles allow scientists to make incredibly accurate predictions about the Universe, the rules break down at the largest and tiniest scales.

Einstein proposed a remedy in his theory of general relativity. Using the mathematical tools available to him at the time, Einstein was able to better explain certain physical phenomena and also resolve a longstanding paradox relating to inertia and gravity.

But instead of improving on particles or waves, he eliminated them as he proposed the warping of space and time.

Using newer mathematical tools, my colleague and I have demonstrated a new theory that may accurately describe the Universe. Instead of basing the theory on the warping of space and time, we considered that there could be a building block that is more fundamental than the particle and the wave.

Scientists understand that particles and waves are existential opposites: A particle is a source of matter that exists at a single point, and waves exist everywhere except at the points that create them.

My colleague and I thought it made logical sense for there to be an underlying connection between them.

Flow and Fragments of Energy

Our theory begins with a new fundamental idea – that energy always “flows” through regions of space and time.

Think of energy as made up of lines that fill up a region of space and time, flowing into and out of that region, never beginning, never ending and never crossing one another.

Working from the idea of a universe of flowing energy lines, we looked for a single building block for the flowing energy. If we could find and define such a thing, we hoped we could use it to accurately make predictions about the Universe at the largest and tiniest scales.

There were many building blocks to choose from mathematically, but we sought one that had the features of both the particle and wave – concentrated like the particle but also spread out over space and time like the wave.

The answer was a building block that looks like a concentration of energy – kind of like a star – having energy that is highest at the center, and that gets smaller farther away from the center.

Much to our surprise, we discovered that there were only a limited number of ways to describe a concentration of energy that flows. Of those, we found just one that works in accordance with our mathematical definition of flow.

We named it a fragment of energy. For the math and physics aficionados, it is defined as A = -⍺/r where ⍺ is intensity and r is the distance function.

Using the fragment of energy as a building block of matter, we then constructed the math necessary to solve physics problems. The final step was to test it out.

Back to Einstein, Adding Universality

More than 100 ago, Einstein had turned to two legendary problems in physics to validate general relativity: the ever-so-slight yearly shift – or precession – in Mercury’s orbit, and the tiny bending of light as it passes the Sun.

These problems were at the two extremes of the size spectrum. Neither wave nor particle theories of matter could solve them, but general relativity did.

The theory of general relativity warped space and time in such way as to cause the trajectory of Mercury to shift and light to bend in precisely the amounts seen in astronomical observations.

If our new theory was to have a chance at replacing the particle and the wave with the presumably more fundamental fragment, we would have to be able to solve these problems with our theory, too.

For the precession-of-Mercury problem, we modeled the Sun as an enormous stationary fragment of energy and Mercury as a smaller but still enormous slow-moving fragment of energy. For the bending-of-light problem, the Sun was modeled the same way, but the photon was modeled as a minuscule fragment of energy moving at the speed of light.

In both problems, we calculated the trajectories of the moving fragments and got the same answers as those predicted by the theory of general relativity. We were stunned.

Our initial work demonstrated how a new building block is capable of accurately modeling bodies from the enormous to the minuscule. Where particles and waves break down, the fragment of energy building block held strong.

The fragment could be a single potentially universal building block from which to model reality mathematically – and update the way people think about the building blocks of the Universe.

Republished from TheConversation.com under Creative Commons

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Neuroscientist Claims That Consciousness Itself Is Its Own Energy Field

Justin MacLachlan

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A neuroscientist has suggested in a new theory that our consciousness is derived from a field of electromagnetic waves given off by neurons.

The study published last month in the journal Neuroscience of Consciousness is entirely based off a theory absent of tangible evidence. However, the author of the research Johnjoe McFadden said that his hypothesis could offer a way forward for robots that think and feel emotions.

McFadden believes that neuron waves of electrical activity get sent out and as they propagate across the brain, they help compose our entire conscious experience.

Johnjoe McFadden, is a molecular geneticist and director of quantum biology at the University of Surrey. McFadden points to flaws in other models of consciousness as the reason that we don’t have sentient artificial intelligence or robots capable of achieving consciousness.

McFadden’s hypothesis swerves away from most traditional neuroscientists, who generally see consciousness as a narrative that our brain constructs out of our senses, perceptions, and actions. Instead, McFadden returns to a more empirical version of dualism — the idea that consciousness stems from something other than our brain matter.

McFadden’s theory adapts the idea of “dualism,” which is the belief that consciousness is a supernatural force. Dualism has long been rejected by scientists and ruled pseudo-science, but McFadden has attempted to apply a scientific explanation for the idea, which hasn’t been done before.

Neuroscience news reports that the theory is based on scientific fact:

“The theory is based on scientific fact: when neurons in the brain and nervous system fire, they not only send the familiar electrical signal down the wire-like nerve fibres, but they also send a pulse of electromagnetic energy into the surrounding tissue. Such energy is usually disregarded, yet it carries the same information as nerve firings, but as an immaterial wave of energy, rather than a flow of atoms in and out of the nerves.”

It’s also a fact we have an electromagnetic field surrounding our brain is well-known and is detected by brain-scanning techniques such as electroencephalogram (EEG) and magnetoencephalography (MEG) but has previously been dismissed as irrelevant to brain function and supernatural. Instead, McFadden contends that the brain’s information-rich electromagnetic field is, in fact, itself the seat of consciousness, driving the ‘free will’ of an individual.

“How brain matter becomes aware and manages to think is a mystery that has been pondered by philosophers, theologians, mystics and ordinary people for millennia,” McFadden said in a press release published by Medical Xpress. “I believe this mystery has now been solved, and that consciousness is the experience of nerves plugging into the brain’s self-generated electromagnetic field to drive what we call ‘free will’ and our voluntary actions.”

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Ann Arbor becomes latest city to decriminalize “magic” mushrooms and other natural psychedelics

Elias Marat

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(TMU) – The city of Ann Arbor, Michigan, has effectively decriminalized psilocybin or “magic” mushrooms along with other natural psychedelics in the latest sign that public opinion across the U.S. is continuing to turn against prohibitionist policies.

On Monday, the Ann Arbor City Council unanimously voted in favor of a resolution that would make it the city’s lowest-ranked law enforcement priority to the investigate or arrest anyone planting, cultivating, purchasing, transporting, distributing, using or possessing entheogenic plants or plant compounds.

The resolution applies to all psychedelics derived from plants and fungi, including psilocybin mushrooms, ayahuasca, ibogaine, mescaline, peyote and other substances with hallucinogenic properties deemed illegal under state and federal law.

The council also requires the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office to halt the prosecution of those involved in the use of entheogenic plants and plant compounds.

Ann Arbor now joins a growing list of cities including Denver, Colorado, and the California cities of Santa Cruz and Oakland that have decriminalized all entheogenic plants. Other cities including Chicago and Austin are considering similar measures. A ballot measure that would legalize the use of psilocybin in therapeutic settings will also be voted on in the state of Oregon this November.

The move to de-prioritize law enforcement around psychedelics was spearheaded by the efforts of local grassroots advocacy group Decriminalize Nature Ann Arbor, or DNA2.

At the beginning of the year, councilmembers were skeptical about any move to decriminalize psychedelics. Since then, they’ve found themselves convinced by evidence of the therapeutic and spiritual benefits of psychedelics, including for mental health treatment and treating addiction, reports MLive.

Councilmember Zachary Ackerman cited the opening of a $17 million psychedelic and consciousness research center by Johns Hopkins Medicine as proof of “the tremendous potential of these future medicines.” The Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore is currently conducting clinical trials to find out whether the drug is suitable as a prescription drug for the U.S. market.

Councilmember Jack Eaton described the council’s unanimous backing for the decriminalization resolution as carrying on the city’s legacy of backing the local decriminalization of marijuana during the 1970s, when the plant was still illegal under state and federal law.

The resolution doesn’t allow for the commission of crimes or any significant violation of state or federal law, and any use of entheogenic substances that pose a threat to public health and safety could require intervention by law enforcement bodies.

In the resolution, entheogenic plants are defined as the full spectrum of plants and fungi that contain indole amines, tryptamines and phenethylamines “that can benefit psychological and physical wellness, support and enhance religious and spiritual practices, and can reestablish human’s inalienable and direct relationship to nature.”

The resolution also states that psychedelic substances can be used to address substance abuse problems, addiction, recidivism, trauma, post-traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, grief, cluster headaches and other debilitating conditions.

“The use of entheogenic plants, which can catalyze profound experiences of personal and spiritual growth, have been shown by scientific and clinical studies and traditional practices to be beneficial to the health and well-being of individuals and communities in addressing these conditions,” it states.

Psilocybin mushrooms are currently considered a Schedule 1 narcotic by the Drug Enforcement Agency.

However, psilocybin – the main chemical component of the mushrooms – was designated as a “breakthrough therapy” by the FDA in 2019 due to the positive results of psilocybin in treating depression, anxiety, addiction, and other mental health problems.

Studies have also shown how a microdose of psilocybin—far from the level needed for a full-blown trip—actually increases the creativity and empathy of participants.

Other researchers have also found that psilocybin has provided effective help to patients struggling to quit other addictive substances such as cigarettes.

The newfound recognition of psilocybin therapy as a valid treatment has eroded old stereotypes of psilocybin as some intoxicating and hallucination-inducing party drug that drives its users insane – a reputation that largely grew out of the hippie counterculture of the 1960s when they were widely known as “psychedelic” or “magic” mushrooms.

The resolution further notes that entheogenic plants have been the basis of spiritual practices by human cultures for thousands of years, yet those who seek them for the sake of improving their health and wellbeing must risk arrest and prosecution to obtain them.

“Decriminalization of naturally occurring medicines is necessary for progress,” councilmember Jeff Hayner said in a press release from DNA2 last week, reports Detroit Metro Times. “We can no longer turn a blind eye towards the wisdom of indigenous peoples, and the bounty the earth provides. I have been moved by the testimonies of those who have found profound relief from the use of entheogenic plants.”

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