Seven Core Beliefs

I recently connected with some super nice people and learned that some of them are shamans.  What does this mean?  They didn't seem to have just one single answer but in general they are interested in healing,  helping people solve their problems and generally promoting good in the world. 

In the circles that I travel in shamans, pagans, witches and wiccans are considered weirdos, wackos and loonies.  But these are such nice people - much nicer that the usual folks that I meet who are attacking each others values, competing with the neighbors for yard/car/house of the month or screaming that the world is coming to an end because of (fill in anything that opposes their values).

Instead these shamans are quietly communing with nature, making friends with strangers, and trying to teach and practice acceptance and tolerance.  What is this all about?

In researching shamanism I found that many shamans from all corners of the earth, regardless of country, ethnicity or racial background seems to have 7 core beliefs.  These 7 core beliefs may be worded slightly differently but all with the same basic belief system:

1. The belief that everything and everyone is part of a pattern and thus interconnected.
2. The belief in the existence of an alternate reality, often referred to as the spirit world or dreamtime by traditional people, or as nonordinary reality by modern mystics.
3. The belief in the ability of some individuals to achieve transcendent states of consciousness and enter the alternate reality for problem solving and healing of self and others; this belief is usually accompanied by a strong desire to personally experience the alternate reality.
4. The belief in the existence of spirit helpers and teachers who reside in the alternate reality. Although most modern mystics tend not to affiliate with organized religion, Jesus of Nazareth is regarded as a spirit teacher of great power, and most profess the belief in some form of supernatural godlike being or consciousness.
5. The belief that everything, both animate and inanimate, is imbued with a personal supernatural essence or soul; thus, everything everywhere is aware and thus “minded” to some degree.
6. The belief in the existence of an impersonal power or vital force that pervades all things and is expressed as life force in animate beings–the mana of the Polynesians, the chi of the Chinese, the prana of yoga, the num of the Kalahari bushmen, or the baraka of the Muslims.
7. The belief in the existence of a personal energy body that can be perceived by some as an aura and can be enhanced through the energy centers within it–called chakras and meridians in Eastern thought.
In a world where every day seems to be an adventure in self rightousness, vindication, and moral superiourity this shamanism seems like a very refreshing practice.
What if we all practiced just one of these 7 beliefs every day.  I can envision all of these little minds all over the world opening up and learning about each other.  I'm not a big fan of hugging and kum by ya by the campfire but I do think it would be really cool to see what would happen if all of the opposing groups learned what they had in common with each other and how they are connected.
Do you have an issue or topic that is a show stopper for you?  That one issue that means that you just cannot accept another persons thoughts, opinions or beliefs?  Try closing your mind to that one issue and opening it to the possibility that there is something - one little thing - that you can identify with.
In the meantime I'm going to check out the shamans - they are the nicest people I have met in a very long time. 
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