Image by Todd Mecklem via FlickrLet LIFE keep liberating Life! Let there be NO resting place for humankind. Let us adventure beyond all limits, boundaries, and edges of space-time.
Along with soul (or self) consciousness and language humans have evolved the need and the knack for seeking and finding patterns, meanings, bigger pictures...and higher authorities behind the patterns. We revere diverse celebrities and obey an array governors in ordinary reality. But our absolute favorite higher authorities are idols, figments, or supernatural (impossible) beings who float forever, ineffable, above nature and everyday life, who intervene capriciously or judiciously, seldom or daily, in our worlds, and continue to trouble us and our families, clans, bands, tribes, communities, and nations in all our affairs through their called and chosen (and so-called chosen) ministers.
What frees us as a species seems to capture us again at every turn on the spiral path of life. The natural spiral of 'life freeing life' seems to slow to a torturous grind as ages pass. Some speculate or argue that evolution of sentient beings always leads to extinction or doomsday but I dream otherwise.
I live and teach shamanic ways as my best response, so far, to a persisting, perplexing, irrational, irresistible inner (inborn?) calling to 'minister' (in Mystery, Spirit, or Whatever...?) because the ways of shamans offer the most life-shifting, soul-freeing, world re-creating POWER with the least built-in necessity to bow down to authorities, lesser or greater, or to follow traditional patterns, organized or unorganized. Paradoxically, religions offer a branching Tree Of Life of interior ways of relating to and changing reality on purpose to balance outer ways such as the sciences, yet the ways of religions eventually turn these soul connections into comfortable niches where further growth is slowed and stunted, or even nip the buds of new spiritual growth into dead ends.
Here I am the founder of a church (by the IRS definition) or 'religious institution' (by my insurance agent's definition) or center and circle (as I say) of shamanic ways who does not want to offer religion at all, who aims to catalyze religion-free zones and stir up small circles of churchless spirituality. No, I do not even want to offer 'spirituality' because this softer sounding word is being used more and more to refer to personal or unorganized or new (or 'new old') religions or belief systems or other patterns of Complementary and Alternative healing or transforming that are currently, quickly, and relentlessly being chiseled into stone anyway.
Update: I came back and linked the Scientific American article. I had not read it before writing the above post. I found it several hours later.
What I am attempting to express here is that I experience and I understand that many or most humans experience soul-icity and spirit-icity permeating the realms, directions, dimensions, levels, and orders of reality, however each individual describes ALL THAT IS. Other kinds who exist need not be related to as more than just that - others, or friends or companions, hopefully. One can live Earth sustaining ways and reconnect to Nature without ascribing anything to supernatural agents or forces.
Objectivist Ayn Rand wrote many words about the soul. I remember watching an interview where she repeated the word soul so often it shocked the (atheist) objectivist friend of mine who was showing me the video.
But I know this enchantment wells up from within to be encountered and comprehended through dreaming, imagination, and art - and played with. I opine mystical and magical experience is a key component of human nature so it must be natural, a specific expression within humankind of some universal quality, more aspects of which will eventually come to light and be described scientifically, as humankind continues this life adventure.
I find that doing this play on purpose as prayer treatment through shamanic ways does shift reality for the better (slowly or rapidly, through tiny to huge, physical and psychological, and ordinary or extraordinary means) without any need for the 'supernatural' or the set in stone patterns, systems, and traditions of religion. Playng and pretending are powerful.
I keep a simple, flexible cycle of shamanizing periods and allow my internal non-ordinary reality 'map' of archetypes, symbols, and processes to shift as I journey on, so I can keep most of the FUN of magic, mysticism, and alchemy without much of the seriousness. Weird as it may seem, this way of practicing shamanic ways has not diminished but increased my friendly respect for all kinds of life and reality.
Yet so many folks seem to want - or insist upon - elaborate trappings, traditional patterns, and exterior agents or sources of authority. Well, we shall see what happens as the ages roll on...!