This is a rather elongated and controversial series of articles. Please receive all my sympathy if it is not your cup of tea, as well as my categorical invitation to abstain from reading it if this is the case. All the information provided in this article is presented solely for strategic purposes, and it is not meant to be a substitute for the recipient’s direct experience and investigation. The information is mainly given to tactically exemplify some auxiliary elements of astroshamanic cosmology and is not intended to reflect my opinion or astroshamanism in general. I also do not necessarily endorse any of the ideas and views expressed in this article, including my own.
“Where does it come from? This quest... this need to solve life's mysteries for the simplest of questions can never be answered. Why are we here? What is the soul? Why do we dream? Perhaps we would be better off not looking at all. Not delving, not yearning. That's not human nature, not the human heart. That is not why we are here. This quest... this need to solve life's mysteries. In the end what does it matter when the human heart can only find meaning in the smallest of moments? They're here... among us... in the shadows, in the light, everywhere. Do they even know yet?” (Heroes, Season 1, Episode 1, Narration)
There are numerous beliefs and theories regarding the creation of the universe, which may be divided into three basic categories. The most popular belief system among the general public is that a supreme and benign being, or god, was the creator of the physical universe and all its life forms. This occurred either rapidly, through various procedures of step by step sudden manifestation as described in the biblical book of Genesis and other similar creation stories or as a process of theistic evolution, with god providing the first cell and then using evolution to guide each consequent new species.
The second belief is the most popular among official scientists. It is similar to the theory of theistic evolution, except that god does not play any part. Manifestation is driven by blind natural forces, without the intervention of a supreme being or multiple deities.
The third belief is very subtle and multifaceted. It ranges from considering the physical universe as a mere illusion, generally of a rather sinister nature, and occulting a more genuine and benign reality, to implying that our world, as we perceive it, is a predatory world. This does not exclude the idea that real beings might have been created by some supreme benign beings, or a god, though it questions the idea that physical creatures and life forms were created in this way.
Regarding the attitude towards human physical life there are basically three general and radically different beliefs in the realm of religion and spirituality, which can be broadly defined as follows. The most prevalent position claims that being in a physical human body, and accepting all related pain, labour and enslavement, is a major requirement for spiritual growth. There is however something fundamentally corrupted in human beings, including the entire physical world, which can only be corrected through spiritual practice, suffering and discipline. Those who submissively persist will find salvation, while those who do not will be damned.
The other belief is that being in a physical body, with all the suffering and misery that this entails, is a form of captivity and far from being essential, desirable or serving a beneficial purpose, it severely affects spiritual growth or any form of religious salvation.
The above three basic notions are not absolute or isolated, and are often mixed together by some religions and spiritual paths. Whether we actively promote, ignore or oppose such ideas, as human beings we are affected by them. This is the case no matter what we consciously choose to believe. Often what our apparent beliefs are is just like the tip of an iceberg. There is so much more below the surface, and this remains totally concealed unless we take the trouble to explore it. Yet, although hidden beliefs are unconscious they basically rule our experience of reality, sabotaging our life and causing endless frustrations.
Well, here I also wish to point out, that according to certain beliefs we are not our beliefs. We are free multidimensional beings who can become whatever we decide to believe and as well as release any idea that prevents us from realising this freedom.
Beliefs on the creation, nature and purpose of the physical universe have a most complex range of applications and elaborations. Well, it is not the purpose of this article to consider them. What I intend here to strategically and amateurishly explore is the most controversial notion of a predatory universe.
The idea of a predatory reality basically implies that this world, or universe, as we humanly perceive it, is an arena devised and supported by rapacious forces in order to achieve their goals. In this context the role of human beings appears to have a very low status which ranges from slave race to mere fat-stock aimed at serving some predatory beings.
This does not necessarily mean that these predatory forces are criminal and destructive. At least they may appear as such from our human limited perception, just as the animals or vegetables we eat may also regard us as criminal and destructive. No matter whether we act with love or hate, whether we eat meat, or are vegetarian and even vegan, we all end up destroying a life form of some sort in order to guarantee our physical survival. Similarly other life forms may do the same with us. Although from our human limited viewpoint it is surely inconvenient to be objects of prey, and we would prefer to avoid this situation and rather be the only ones who prey on other life forms, from a wider perspective it is absolutely legitimate.
The idea of a predatory reality far from being a recent development in science fiction or conspiracy theories is definitely the most archaic understanding about our human situation and life in general. It was part of consensus knowledge in the earliest human recorded civilisations, such as the Sumerian culture. This understanding is also common in shamanism, the most ancient healing and spiritual practice the world over, and in most extremely archaic esoteric paths. It is as well a deep intimate, yet most forbidden and unmentionable realisation for many folks on the inner quest.
According to most shamanic traditions this world is regarded as a sort of penal colony, zoo or prison created by incompetent and insane gods, perhaps for exploitation or entertainment purposes, and even by mistake. Traditional shamans are basically practical and devoid of romantic connotations. They essentially know how the universe works. If you ask them about the reality of this world, demanding an honest answer, they will not speak about a universe founded on harmony, freedom, love, joy and peace, where you create your own reality, fulfil your luminous destiny or other self-development advertising slogans. Of course, if they realise that you are delusional and these are the only things you can hear, they will not interfere with your dreams and may even support it in the hope that one day you wake up. Yet, if you are unbiased enough to receive at least a minute part of their experience, they will tell you that this is a predatory universe based on control, exploitation, war, conflict and other unmentionable things, which you may find most appalling and nevertheless remotely familiar.
I am not saying at all that this is the plain truth. Truth cannot be communicated through ordinary languages based on conditioned beliefs. Our human languages contain only what is accessible to our consensus paradigm, they reflect our conditioning and as a result cannot communicate what is beyond the confinement of the reality which has produced the language itself. Yet with our current human languages stories can be told aimed at creating gaps in our restricted paradigm and reducing the impact of human conditioning. This may eventually allow access to unexpurgated paradigms and languages, which can provide alternative perceptions of reality. Alternative perceptions of reality are not necessarily true, yet their awareness can at least shake our autistic assumptions and give a free rein to human separated consciousness.
The notion of a predatory reality, whether it makes sense or not, and unless one becomes too fanatic about it, serves the purpose of challenging some of our human prejudiced ideas, such as the assumption that this universe is perfect or that it was created by a perfect god.
In their daily experience shamans are strategically aware of most disturbing and shocking evidence regarding human life, a shrouded sinister scenario that has existed since the beginning of time and still persists to this very day. Shamans acknowledge a large variety of beings, some abiding in parallel realities, basically unaware of the existence of our world, and others operating in further dimensions, yet in close connection with mankind. The beings that can more easily interact with us are often believed to exist primarily in the fourth dimension or so called astral realm. This is the domain of several creatures. Some seem to behave with dignity, respect and care, while others appear cruel, reckless and ruthless.
“We are, if anything, creatures of habits. Drawn to the safety and comfort of the familiar. But what happens when the familiar becomes unsafe, when the fear that we have been desperately trying to avoid finds us where we live? We are all, at our cores, the sum of our fears. To embrace destiny we must inevitably face those fears and conquer them. Whether they come from the familiar or the unknown.” (Heroes, Season 1, Episode 9, Narration)
(to be continued)
© 2009 Franco Santoro, Cluny Hill College, Forres IV36 2RD, Scotland,
All rights reserved. Feel free to share this article through Facebook. If you wish to reproduce this article on a website, magazine, blog or other media, please let us know. Perrmission is usually given with pleasure and gratitude, yet we wish to be informed. Contact us at PAN@astroshamanism.org.
Upcoming Astroshamanic Events
Findhorn Foundation, 28 November 2009 - 5 December 2009,
The Blessed Way of Passion: Astroshamanic Healing and Touch
In this workshop we will discover ways of employing physical contact to foster expanded states of consciousness, reawaken healing talents and integrate them in everyday life. This week will impart shamanic healing skills for tracking and retrieving separated parts, releasing soul wounds and blocks, promoting harmonious connections with our inner and outer environment.
We will explore our multidimensional nature and the sacred dynamics of sexual energy, employing the body as a keyboard aimed at recovering and grounding hidden forces. The intent is to release energies that hinder our potentials, aligning ourselves with the dynamic flow of life and opening up to new horizons of purpose and harmony.
Through sounds, silence, trance, prayers and dances, we will share ways of channelling profound passions, transforming and merging them in accordance with one’s life purpose and the web of life. This workshop involves gentle forms of physical touch.
Income related price: £495 / £645 / £775. Includes 7 nights accommodation and all meals. Bursaries are available.
For bookings see: ogrammes/programme347.php
Findhorn Foundation, 29 December 2009 - 5 January 2010
New Year Spiritual Healing Retreat
With Franco Santoro & Astrid Gude.
It promises to be a most transformational and healing week which includes a New Year’s Astroshamanic Trance Dance and plenty of opportunities to recapitulate the past and use it to fertilise empowering gifts for the present and future.
An opportunity to promote expanded awareness and healing through meditation and spiritual practices. We will alternate periods of silence and dialogue, stillness and movement, touch and contact, relaxation and activity, group and individual work, bringing careful attention to our inner and outer world. We will scan the past year, using various forms of astroshamanic recapitulation and the Astroshamanic Healing Grid at Cluny, extracting blessings and releasing grievances, paving a luminous healing way for the New Year.
Please arrive for registration between 4:00-5:30pm on 29th December.
Price: £395 for participants with low income. £ 495 for participants with medium income. £595 for participants with high income. Includes 8 nights accommodation and meals.
Jesi (Ancona, Italy) 16-17 January 2010, Astroshamanic Trance Dance, Chanting and Sounds, Basic Workshop
Provordo Jesi (Letizia): firstname.lastname@example.org
Jesi (Ancona, Italy) 13-14 March 2010, Astroshamanic Trance Dance, Chanting and Sounds, Workshop 2. Provordo Jesi (Letizia): email@example.com
Findhorn Foundation, 20 March - 3 April 2010
FOUNDATION TRAINING in ASTROSHAMANISM
An all-comprehensive two-week training aimed at providing an in-depth experience and understanding of contemporary shamanism and spiritual research in alignment with the principles of the Findhorn Community. Participants are encouraged and supported in opening, discovering and implementing the relationship with their inner guidance and soul’s purpose. This also involves releasing blocks and retrieving hidden potentials, learning to use shamanic healing in their life and relationship with others.
The training consists of two workshops, which can also be attended independently
20 - 26 March 2010, A Journey into the Inner Universe
This workshop focuses on the clarification of the life Intent and the connection with their inner guide. Participants will be trained in working with basic astroshamanic techniques for expanding perception and reawakening their authentic purpose. The programme includes: astroshamanic voyages, trance dance, totemic postures, circle positioning, astrodrama, ceremonial sharing, planetary chants, the ritual of the Sacred Cone and various opportunities for integrating shamanic work with ordinary reality.
27 March - 3 April 2010, The Voyage through the Zodiac
During this second week participants will experience the whole spectrum of astroshamanic archetypes, retrieving and transforming blocked energies, strengthening the relationship with their multi-dimensional self and Intent. This workshop is designed for people who intend to employ shamanism both for themselves and in their practice with others. The previous week (or another one-week workshop with Franco) is a prerequisite for attendance.
Income related price for each week: £495 / £645 / £775. Includes 7 nights accommodation and all meals. There is a discount of £95 on the total combined price if booking both weeks. Bursaries are available.
For more information see: ogrammes/programme215.php
Malvern (Worcestershire, England) 10-11 April 2010, Astroshamanic Healing and Sacred Circle Management with Franco Santoro. For information and bookings: Dave Mountjoy, firstname.lastname@example.org or +44 07532 356703. Cost: £ 119 – 99 -79.
For other events see: troshamanism?sid=272892504eeb5c739891815e4cb3a0f7&ref=s#/note.php?note_id=167782443328&ref=mf