Naked Shamanism is about being able to shift your consciousness to a higher state. And when you are at that higher state you look back at your previous state and it seems like you were asleep and have now woken up.
We live in the biggest cult of all time the cult of the normal where it seems like for many people they are suffering the psychopathology of being average, being normal, being just one of the crowd. This is depressing and causes anxiety.
But the way many seek to escape is to climb to the top of the heap. But even if you win you are still sitting on top of a heap and just because you’ve got some success you’ve got your nose in the trough and are living it up for now tomorrow may be the trip to the slaughterhouse.
The other way out is to wake up to the fact that you don’t have play by the rules of your “tribe”.
This awakening is called “detribalisation.”
It is the process where you mature from a limited tribal perspective to a more universal one.
So you begin to see through your cultural biases that limit and distort and begin to make corrections for those errors
Joseph Campbell spoke about mythology as the stories our culture tells. And that throughout history they’ve been the guidelines that kept the tribe sane and healthy and successful. But today most people don’t have that coherence in their stories, the meaning isn’t there for them so they feel like aliens, like strangers in a strange land that’s fragmented and incoherent where there is no truth anymore.
The Call to Adventure that Joseph Campbell spoke about in his ideas around the Hero’s Journey can be seen as you have no choice but to accept the call because when you don’t if it’s the call to because a Shaman you are being reborn and if you try to suppress this it results in crisis.
I see many people today stuck in depression and anxiety because they are refusing to accept that they have a call to something bigger than themselves.
And they’re in crisis because something is trying to be born through them. A new version of themselves.
Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hahn has said that the next Buddha will be the Sangha.
But how do we as a tribe get there when most people feel disconnected?
How easily do you go: “Wow I love that I’m so different!!”
Or is it more often: ”I hate that I don’t fit in.”
The second is more normal because we live in societies that grew from tribes where if you didn’t stay with the tribe and play by its rules you couldn’t survive without that tribe.
The neighbouring tribe would either kill you or enslave you. If the animal predators didn’t get you first.
So we’re still responding to this even though we can survive without our tribe it just doesn’t feel like we can.
Many people have pointed to what I call a “primal disconnection” as the cause of depression and anxiety many people suffer from.
Yet how come for thousands of years men and women who have been different have not just survived but thrived because of their difference?
The Shaman was the most valuable person in the tribe. So valuable that if your tribe didn’t have one you’d attack a neighbouring tribe to steal theirs.
We usually see the Shaman portrayed as the healer and mystic and dressed either to blend in and not stand out or the exact opposite and strategically dressed to emphasise their position of importance.
We see modern Shamanism as more of the later where people dress up in the outer clothing of the tradition and go through rituals that copy the indigenous people. But what’s missing is the inner tradition the more esoteric or hidden truths that were usually hidden in plain sight in the clothing of the ordinary. Because that was the safest place to hide as only the people who had done the work to be able to see could see the value.
We’re fortunate to live in a world today where many people are waking up.
They see the truth of the damage that we as a species have done and continue to do to our home and get that the story we are living doesn’t work and isn’t sustainable.
Success used to be: “How do I get what I want?” But if the cost of that is you destroy the environment that sustains you you’re actually going to fail.
By “environment” I’m not just talking about the planet we live on. We all live within systems. Like your family, like the country you live in. Or the business you work for or run. These systems, these worlds configure our thinking, they literally format our brains because as social animals we’re wired to fit in. But in a world that is rapidly changing how much is that choice to conform allowing you to do well today is at the expense of not being around tomorrow?
If you don’t evolve as a person or a business you won’t be around tomorrow.
This is what the Shaman did. They looked into the future and guided the tribe so they didn’t just survive but thrived.
This is what Naked Shamanism is it’s that idea of being connected to a future that you are in the process of creating by what you are doing.
It’s about being smart.
But smart today is built from the multiple different types of intelligence you have. So while you are high on some types you won’t be as high or you might even be low on other types.
This is why other people are helpful it’s their perspective built from their different multiple intelligences which will be different to you that allows them to see what you can’t. For example, almost half of the Fortune 500 companies were either founded by immigrants or their children. People who because they were different became successful.
Most people naturally think they are above average in all of their multiple intelligences. This is how people limit themselves and train to not see the traps ahead. It’s literally a process of self-sabotage because the most dangerous traps are the ones not that we’re looking for but the ones we can’t see because we believe we already know that the way ahead is clear.
For many people being strong in IQ, Intellectual Intelligence means that they are weaker in their other multiple intelligences and if you can’t see this you sabotage your success.
Because it’s when you place value on your difference, your uniqueness, or even your weirdness that you are playing to your real strengths.
The Shamans key strength was and I’ll borrow Joseph Campbell’s definition of myth that they had one foot in the ordinary world and the other in that which is beyond description.
Let me detour for a minute into talking about marketing understanding this really isn’t a detour but I’ll join up the dots afterwards.
Marketing used to be that I’d be seeing you in church on Sunday because we lived in the same community so I was highly conscious of my role of caring for you and having an embodied sense of what service is. Which is I feel good when I help you because you are part of my community, you are a friend and neighbour.
But this is still true when you experience the community that you are part of as global and everyone is your neighbour online.
Marketing is about caring. And making the changes that you want to see in the world. Because you want to make things better. It’s helping people to become better versions of themselves by solving their problems.
It’s being willing to listen to people’s hopes and dreams and lending a hand with what you can uniquely do that gets them further than they could have gotten by themselves.
So back to Naked Shamanism understanding that we never really left that. Because that Shaman was having one foot in the ordinary world they had to be able to translate what they could see from where their other foot was on the that which is beyond description. This is called marketing.
If you have a vision that’s nice for you but it’s in how you explain that to others so that they will come along with you that enables things to actually get done.
So couldn’t I use better words than “that which is beyond description”?
This is literally the most accurate description. If I start talking about spirituality or use esoteric words you go to your understanding of those words and go: “That is it.” But the point is that’s exactly not it because it’s beyond description.
There’s a whole spiritual marketplace out there selling you stuff to match your descriptions but they’re catering to making you feel good by telling you that you are right. When that’s most likely to be what’s limiting you.
So how do you actually work with that which is beyond description?
We’ll talk about that next time.