Shamanic Yoga is a way of liberation for the coming age. And the whole point of it is simply this: authority comes from within.
Prior to awakening, the energy of the Goddess Shakti lies in embryonic sleep at the base of our spine. She is the coiled serpent of wisdom signified in ancient myths - the dragon in China, the Kundalini in India, the Snake Goddess Hecate in Asia Minor, the twined snakes on the Cadeucus of Hermes, which became the sign of Western medicine. We also see this potent serpentine force in the Staff of Moses, and Jesus referred to her when he told his disciples, "Be wise as serpents and gentle as doves." In the Wisdom literature of the late Old Testament, and in Jewish mystical tradition, she is Hochma, which is a feminine power, associated with both the Holy Spirit and the Shekinah, the feminine aspect of God.
Originally associated with the earth Goddess, the serpent wisdom was often depicted as coiled about the Tree of Life, a symbol of the human spine. Or the serpent was held in the hands of the Goddess, as in the figure of Hecate above. In the Genesis myth, the author distorts this ancient symbolism, turning the "pagan" serpent of wisdom into a dangerous seductive power. This portrayal of the serpent not only contradicts the wisdom literature of the world, but other images of the serpent in the Bible. The association of the serpent with evil in the Garden of Eden is only a brief digression in the history of religious symbolism.
Why are such ambivalent feelings associated with this serpent force? Why does she invoke a sense of danger as well as wisdom? Note even in the Biblical story of Eden, how Eve's "temptation" is not a temptation to sensuality, but to Knowledge! I would suggest that this is not a conspiracy to suppress the feminine, but a legitimate wariness about awakening a force that we may not be able to handle.
In our embryonic consciousness, neither our mind nor our nervous system are ready to be conductors of such divine electricity. For, as the Bible says, “the divine is a consuming fire,” and “it is terrifying to fall into the hands of the living God.” Or Goddess!
Awakening the Kundaline Shakti prematurely, we could be overcome with confusion or even mental illness . The divine Shakti is a form of Kali. When she uncoils her wild dance and rises up the tree of our spine, we had better be ready for the shattering.
Thus she lies coiled and latent in the root chakra at the base of the spine. And the whole field of Maya, or illusion, is actually created by our own mind as a protective shield, or shell, so that we are not overwhelmed by her.
Yes, we create the shell of Mayic illusion as a sheath of protection. We create this Maya out of our storehouse of mental images, our memory. We project these thoughts through our senses into what we perceive as our "world."
But the shell of Maya is not the living world of divine energy, the radiant green earth which is our true Garden of Eden. Maya is only the world that our mind super-imposes on the radiance of creation. This act of mental projection has dominated our culture for thousands of years, making us slaves of our own minds, suppressing our intuition, and keeping us in exile from the dazzling revelations of the living earth.
We use our mental images like sunglasses to protect ourselves from the overwhelming beauty and fire of nature. And where our native Shamanic awareness would see the living gods in herbs and trees, the “civilized” mind sees dead lumber, paper, commodity and profit to be made in the market.
Here we must understand that the problems of "worldliness" and "materialism" do not arise from the material nature. Matter is holy energy. It is "Mater," the Mother. All that religions call “worldliness” arises in the mind, as insatiable and restless desire. We super-impose our internal world of desire onto the earth, often with devastating consequences.
But because the world that we see is only the projection of our past karma, worldy problems can never be solved in the world. Their cause can never be located. These apparent problems - whether social, political or economic - form a circular web of cause and effect without beginning or end. The web of karma never changes its patterns, because objects perceived are all made of thought, and thought is the repetition of past perception. And so it goes, ad infinitum.
At some point in this karmic morass of cause and effect, which circles on through many lifetimes, we start to feel a bit hopeless. But what is hopelessness? It is disillusionment. And what is disillusionment? Awakening from illusion. We begin to experience a healthy dissatisfaction with Maya. A crucial insight dawns in us: the future will never be anything but a repetition of the past.
Thus we give up hope. And there is no greater step toward wisdom than to give up hope in the future, since this empowers us to dwell in the present.
Dwelling in Presence gives us courage, courage to behold the truth that sets us free: this outer shell of our perceived world is just a thin crust of sensory and social attraction, whose glamor we have created out of our own past desires. The world is an old movie on a screen, and we are so absorbed in the moving pictures we cannot even see the screen.
Now, like the author of the Biblical book of Ecclesiastes, we sigh to ourselves: "Vanity of vanities, all is vanity." The Hebrew word for "vanity" is "hebel," which literally means "empty." Ecclesiastes is saying, "All forms of the world are emptiness." Is this not precisely the teaching of Buddha, whose central Heart Sutra tells us, "form is emptiness, and emptiness is form"?
At this stage, we are not only disillusioned with external forms; we also develop a healthy distrust of every political or religious system of authority. We find the honesty to admit that such institutions never really change, no matter how many “reformations” they go through, and they never actually solve the problems they claim to. Now we may turn from politics to spiritual transformation, for if the world will be changed, it must be changed from within the field of consciousness itself.
The "unified field" at the source of all energy (to borrow a term from modern physics) is pure awareness. Our own ground-state of awareness is the seamless continuum where there is no gap between subject and object. Pure awareness is the silence of the creative void, where all forms arise and dance as a mirage in stillness. We are the field. The change we seek is us.
here that the outer shell of Maya is neither "good" nor "evil," but
simply unsatisfying. We need not make value judgments about the world which our minds have created - about its parties, its religions, its institutions. They are all just forms, ever-changing circles of cause and effect, creating each other in patterns of polarity, pairs of opposites. One form is not "better" than another. And none hold the solution.
The solution to all our problems is simply to shatter the shell of Maya.This seems like a stunning stroke - at once too easy and too radical. Yet it happens quite naturally, quite gently, when the time is ripe for the shell to crack and the serpent to awaken, dance, and connect us to the heavenly green radiance of the earth.
When the shell breaks, Shakti within emerges to dance with Shakti outside. The inner and the outer are no longer two, but one continuum of divine energy. Heaven and earth, male and female, spirit and matter, no longer two but one dance. Our egoic mind has exaggerated these polarized opposites in order to develop its analytic function. But we went too far: we became stuck, fixated in arguing for differences. And our entire educational system was based on this divisive activity.
The mind-bound ego felt more alive when it argued for separation and division. But now is the time in human evolution when we can reintegrate as whole persons, merging intellect into the harmony of intuition. Time to see the all and not the parts. Intellect will continue to serve as a useful tool, but will no longer dominate as ego.
When we transcend intellect through shamanic yoga, we can witness reality through the sparkling transparency of pure awareness, our vision no longer bound in a point. That means, we are no longer stuck in a "point of view," a judgment. Our vision expands like the blue sky, all-inclusive. Then real listening is possible, real love is possible.
In the sky of loving-kindness, we witness the pairs of opposites as vibrating strings in unbounded stillness. Each "pair" is really a unity, a continuum where no opposition can be found, just poles dancing with each other, arising and dissolving each moment. Now we may stop exaggerating differences between the sexes, between the political left and right, between religions, between East and West, between I and Thou, between a venison steak and a bowl of vegetables.
Clear seeing beyond opposites is the true revolution. In this revolution, no violence is ever required, only the clearing of the blue sky.
In clear seeing, we need not be against anything. We can be for. Neither need we judge or compete: for in an energy field whose circumference is boundless, any point can be the center. The sky of love encircles all points. In the words of St. Hildegard of Bingen, "You are hugged by the mystery of God."
Friend, awaken your sacred presence. Not in a kingdom above, but here in your body. Every atom is divine. You are the light of the world, born to overflow. You have no edges. You no longer need to re-act, but to act. Don't be the effect of your world: be the cause.
There is only Yes.