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What the Shaman Does
by David Sparenberg
2013-07-20 11:45:01
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Bodies are articulations.  The human body is one form of biotic speech, similar to yet different from the body of the jaguar, as to the body of the orca, as to the sable-feathered, light boned flesh of raven.
Through bodies, evolution, diversity, even Earth herself and guiding divinity, initiates communication.  Such is why there are levels of motion and differences in textures and colors and sensitivities.
Faces are articulations too.  The human face, structurally of a kind, individuated into unique features with personality plasticity, is one form of biotic speech, similar to yet different from the face of the chimpanzee, as of the bison, as of the dolphin, the prairie dog, the panda, the white tiger and the pop-eyed green frog.
Everywhere to the alert participant there are shapes and languages.  And where it not for exploitation and oppression, here on this teeming planet, life is such that there could be no poverty.  To be deprived of a garden is serious enough; to be deprived of experience is torture, and violates freedom.  For life has arranged itself in the natural abundance of shared habitation, recognition and relationships.
Out of all variables, the shaman is the singular who lives in the metamorphic and longs, even as a lover, for verticality—a recurring movement between the mystic ascent of flame and the mystic descending of constant water.
To shapeshift is to be more than multi-lingual.  Eventually it is to hear and to feel, to become, and to speak in tongues.  For shaman always there is no alive reality without otherness.  No wisdom without the power of story.  No vitality of soul without a beauty of songs.
Learn what the shaman does: To be an earth-walker is to emerge into the depths of dialogue and share mutuality with all creatures of creation.  The poetic among us abide in humility; their postures are prayers of relationships.  Their affinities are cosmic.
David Sparenberg
11 July 2013


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