Make it Better

Do not to be trapped by the common values and power structures of our times. Maintain a place for your own spiritual activity. In sum, when pursuing social values dominated by greed, opinion, and the amassing of power and things, one invariably loses sight of oneself. Make yourself as truly free as anyone can.
A true free Spirit, placing no man above or below yourself, and forsaking the greedy power hungry fools in control and the mass media’s version of what you need to think and feel. Take charge of your life and make this world a truly better place.

Easy

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Can I Not Dare

How can I forgive
Do I dare to risk so much again
How can I once more give so much
How can I live with loosing it again

Forget the tears you cried
Make yourself love again
Allow yourself to love again
Know that you are worth it
And know it will come anew

Know with care your poor old heart
Will bloom, break free, and trust again
You must learn to not fear the pain
Must learn never to allow fear to rule your soul
Reach out, take hold, and together again we are

Once more as we were meant to be…

Steve ‘Easy Whitacre November 20, 2009

Living

Live your life to the fullest, embracing each day
Let not the fear of death enter your heart
Trouble no one about their religion
Respect others in their own views,
But demand that they respect yours

Love your life, perfect your life,
Make everything in your life a thing of beauty,
Seek to make your life long and full,
And devote its purpose to the service of your people

Prepare your music in your heart and perfect it each day
Ever ready for the day when you go over the great divide.
Always give a word and smile when passing a friend or stranger
And show respect to all people but grovel to none

When you arise in the morning give thanks for your blessings,
For the food, the air, and the sheer joy of living,
And if you see no reason for giving thanks,
The fault lies only in within yourself

Abuse and mistreat no one and no thing, never giving in to anger
For abuse turns a wise man into a fool, and robs your spirit of all vision,
And learn well the lesson of violence,
For no matter what the cause, or how just, violence only brings the same

When it comes your time to die, accept it as a part of life
Be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death,
Those that weep and pray for more time to live their lives in a different way,
Instead sing loud your life music and rejoice in your return home…

Steve ‘Easy’ Whitacre July 28, 2009

Grandfather’s Lessons

My grandfather helped me form my connection to Spirit. He taught me how to listen, listen to the lessons Spirit has filled every thing in this world with. He taught me to respect, not just the people, animals, trees, plants, and land, but myself too, because without holding honest respect for myself I would lose the ability to respect everything else. He taught me to share all I have with who or whatever has need.  He taught me to love all of creation freely, without fear or regret, and with tolerance and without judgment.

My grandfather taught me how to accept a gift, with thanks and humbleness, and to honor all gifts by using then as intended, without greed or abuse. In this path I have walked I have learn much from all around me. Yet there is still much to learn. I know that my grand-father would be greatly saddened if he looked down and saw me allowing a book or another person to stand between me and Spirit. I am as much a part of Spirit as every other thing in existence, and I will never lose my own personal connection.

I hold to myself to be what I know I should be. I will always try to find the best I can in any and all I meet. To walk with honor, holding to compassion, charity, and above all truth. I will do my best to avoid giving judgment and to accept the right of all others to walk their own paths. I know I will fall short of what I should be many times in the future as I have done so in the past, but I will do the best I can to live this gift of life as best I can.

And as I move through this journey, I will try to help as much as I can with what few gifts I have, not for money or physical things, but because it is the right thing to do and to try to repay Spirit for the many gifts he has given me. I know it sometimes seems that all is darkness around us in these times, but know this; we all have the power to drive the darkness away simply by living as we always should. I would much rather work toward something good than war against something bad.

Walk in peace and beauty,

Steve ’Easy’ Whitacre Nov. 9th, 2006

Grandmother

Your pain is over, and me left here alone
But I’m just not ready, not to let you go
I will be strong, don’t give up on me
And as you oh so often told me
We’ll meet again when my chores are done

I can’t tell you how long I’ll be
But I would not think to let you down
Just rest yourself and watch and see
And until that time we’re together again
I’ll be loving you, as I know you’re loving me

And until that time we’re together again
I’ll be loving you, as I know you’re loving me…

Steve ‘Easy’ Whitacre November 3, 2009

Shamanism

Shamanism – Extracted from Richard Shand
A Master of Ecstasy

“The word shaman comes to English from the Tungus language via Russian. Among the Tungus of Siberia it is both a noun and a verb. While the Tungus have no word for shamanism, it has come into usage by anthropologists, historians of religion and others in contemporary society to designate the experience and the practices of the shaman. Its usage has grown to include similar experiences and practices in cultures outside of the original Ural-Altaic cultures from which the term shaman originated. Thus shamanism is not the name of a religion or group of religions.”

“Shamanism is classified by anthropologists as an archaic magico-religious phenomenon in which the shaman is the great master of ecstasy. Shamanism itself, was defined by the late Mircea Eliade as a technique of ecstasy. A shaman may exhibit a particular magical specialty (such as control over fire, wind or magical flight). When a specialization is present the most common is as a healer. The distinguishing characteristic of shamanism is its focus on an ecstatic trance state in which the soul of the shaman is believed to leave the body and ascend to the sky (heavens) or descend into the earth (underworld). The shaman makes use of spirit helpers, which he or she communicates with, all the while retaining control over his or her own consciousness. (Examples of possession occur, but are the exception, rather than the rule.) It is also important to note that while most shamans in traditional societies are men, either women or men may and have become shamans.”
– Dean Edwards, “Shamanism-General Overview” (FAQ)

“These myths refer to a time when communication between heaven and earth was possible; in consequence of a certain event or a ritual fault, the communication was broken off, but heroes and medicine men are nevertheless able to reestablish it.”
– Mircea Elliade, Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy

“By entering an ecstatic state, induced by ritual dancing and the invocation of spirits, the shaman is believed able to return to that time, visiting heaven and hell to talk with gods, spirits of the dead, and animals.”
– Cosmic Duality

“Shamans reach the state that gives them access to the supernatural world in a variety of ways. A very common way is by ingesting mind-altering drugs of various types.”
– James Davila, “Enoch as a Divine Mediator”

“It is the Siberian and Latin American shamans who have most often employed psychedelics as booster rockets to launch their cosmic travels. In Siberia the preferred substance has been the mushroom known as Amanita muscaria or agaric. This is perhaps the much-praised soma of early Indian religion as well as one of the drugs referred to in European legends.”
– Roger N.Walsh, The Spirit of Shamanism

“Another common method is to listen to the protracted pounding of a drum. Less direct methods are also widely practiced. These include various forms of isolation and self-denial, such as fasting, solitary confinement, celibacy, dietary and purity restrictions, and protracted prayer. Igjugarjuk, a Caribou Inuit shaman, claims to have been isolated by his mentor in a small snow hut where he fasted and meditated in the cold, drinking only a little water twice, for thirty days. After his initiatory vision (see below) he continued a rigorous regime involving a special diet and celibacy. Leonard Crow Dog, a Native American Sioux shaman, describes in detail the process of his first vision quest. He participated in a sweat lodge ceremony for spiritual cleansing, then was taken to a fasting place of his family’s, where he was wrapped naked in a blanket and left in a hole to fast and pray alone for two days (an adult shaman will fast four or more days). Wallace Black Elk also frequently describes both the sweat lodge (‘stone-people-lodge’) ceremony and the vision quest. Ascetic practices by Japanese shamans are especially prevalent among those who actively seek shamanhood rather than being called by a deity. These practices include fasting and dietary restrictions of various kinds, seclusion in a dark place, walking pilgrimages between sacred places, and rigorous regimes of immersion and bathing in ice-cold water. These disciplines, especially the endurance of cold, eventually fill the shaman with heat and spiritual might.”
– James Davila, “Enoch as a Divine Mediator”

“The shaman is said to ‘make a journey,’ during which he is spoken to by the spirits, who give him curing instructions and make their wishes known for certain kinds of propitiatory sacrifices; they may also appear to him in the form of visions or apparitions. Motifs of death and rebirth, often involving bodily dismemberment and reassimilation, are common in shamanism…”
– McKenna and McKenna, The Invisible Landscape

“…It appears that shamans are able to draw on a range of psychologically skillful diagnostic and therapeutic techniques accumulated by their predecessors over centuries. Some of these techniques clearly foreshadow ones widely used today and thereby confirm the reputation of shamans as humankind’s first psychotherapists.”
– Roger N.Walsh, The Spirit of Shamanism

“We know today that the medicine man derives his power from a circular feedback involving his personal myth and the hopes and expectations of those who share it with him. The ensuing ‘mutual exaltation’ was studied by McDougal and by Gustave LeBon many years ago. It is still regarded as one of the key factors in the psychology of masses. It has subsequently been reinterpreted in Freudian terms as the individual’s willing surrender to an all-powerful father figure capable of meeting the childish dependency needs still lingering in members of the group.”
– Ehrewald, The ESP Experience

“Shamanism often exists alongside and even in cooperation with the religious or healing practices of the community….Knowledge of other realms of being and consciousness and the cosmology of those regions is the basis of the shamanic perspective and power. With this knowledge, the shaman is able to serve as a bridge between the mundane and the higher and lower states. The shaman lives at the edge of reality as most people would recognize it and most commonly at the edge of society itself.”
– Dean Edwards, “Shamanism-General Overview” (FAQ)
Initiation Rituals

“A common experience of the call to shamanism is a psychic or spiritual crisis, which often accompanies a physical or even a medical crisis, and is cured by the shaman him or herself….The shaman is often marked by eccentric behavior such as periods of melancholy, solitude, visions, singing in his or her sleep, etc. The inability of the traditional remedies to cure the condition of the shamanic candidate and the eventual self cure by the new shaman is a significant episode in development of the shaman. The underlying significant aspect of this experience, when it is present, is the ability of the shaman to manage and resolve periods of distress.”
– Dean Edwards, “Shamanism-General Overview” (FAQ)

“Frequently a candidate will gain shamanic powers during a visionary experience in which he or she undergoes some form of death or personal destruction and disintegration at the hands of divine beings, followed by a corresponding resurrection or reintegration that purges and gives a qualitatively different life to the initiate. For example, the Siberian (Tagvi Samoyed) Sereptie, in his long and arduous initiatory vision (on which see below), was at one point reduced to a skeleton and then was ‘forged’ with a hammer and anvil. Autdaruta, an Inuit initiate, had a vision in which he was eaten by a bear and then was vomited up, having gained power over the spirits.”
– James R. Davila, “Hekhalot Literature and Mysticism”

“I saw that I was painted red all over, and my joints were painted black, with white stripes between the joints. My bay had lightning stripes all over him and his mane was cloud. And when I breathed, my breath was lightning.”
– Nick Black Elk, in the narrative of his Great Vision

The novice’s task of learning to see the spirits involves two stages. The first is simply to catch an initial glimpse of them. The second is to deepen and stabilize this glimpse into a permanent visionary capacity in which the spirits can be summoned and seen at will.”
– Roger N. Walsh, The Spirit of Shamanism

“All this long and tiring ceremony has as its object transforming the apprentice magician’s initial and momentary and ecstatic experience…into a permanent condition – that in which it is possible to see the spirits.”
– Mircea Elliade, Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy

“The next thing an old shaman has to do for his pupil is to procure him anak ua by which is meant his ‘angakoq’, i.e., the altogether special and particular element which makes this man an angakoq (shaman). It is also called his quamenEg his ‘lightning’ or ‘enlightenment’, for anak ua consists of a mysterious light which the shaman suddenly feels in his body, inside his head, within the brain, an inexplicable searchlight, a luminous fire, which enables him to see in the dark both literally and metaphorically speaking, for he can now, even with closed eyes see through darkness and perceive things and coming events which are hidden from others; thus they look into the future and into the secrets of others.
“The first time a young shaman experiences this light…it is as if the house in which he is suddenly rises; he sees far ahead of him, through mountains, exactly as if the earth were on a great plain, and his eyes could reach to the end of the earth. Nothing is hidden from him any longer; not only can he see things far, far away, but he can also discover souls, stolen souls, which are either kept concealed in far, strange lands or have been taken up or down to the Land of the dead.”
– K. Rasmussen, Intellectual Culture of the Iglulik Eskimos

A Second Real World

“The pre-eminently shamanic technique is the passage from one cosmic region to another – from earth to the sky or from earth to the underworld. The shaman knows the mystery of the breakthrough in plane. This communication among the cosmic zones is made possible by the very structure of the universe.”
– Mircea Eliade, Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy

“The main feature of the shamans’ universe is…the cosmic center, a bond or axis connecting earth, heaven and hell. It is often pictured as a tree or a pole holding up the sky. In a trance state, a shaman can travel disembodied from one region to another, climbing the tree into the heavens or following its downward extension. By doing so he can meet and consult the gods. There is always a numerical factor. He climbs through a fixed number of celestial stages, or descends through a fixed number of infernal ones. His key number may be expressed in his costume – for example, in a set of bells which he attaches to it. The key number varies from shaman to shaman and from tribe to tribe.”
– Geoffrey Ashe, The Ancient Wisdom

“He commands the techniques of ecstasy – that is, because his soul can safely abandon his body and roam at vast distances, can penetrate the underworld and rise to the sky. Through his own ecstatic experience he knows the roads of the extraterrestrial regions. He can go below and above because he has already been there. The danger of losing his way in these forbidden regions is still great; but sanctified by his initiation and furnished with his guardian spirit, a shaman is the only human being able to challenge the danger and venture into a mystical geography.”
– Mircea Elliade, Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy

Perception in Trance States

The ceremonies of the Cult of the Horned god were first found in the Paleolithic cave paintings of Ariege which depicted a dancing figure in the skin of a horned animal.

Cave paintings from the Upper Paleolithic (20-30,000 years ago) depicts zig zags and dots combined with realistic images of animals against grid forms. Similar abstract geometric are also found in the ritual art of the South African bushman where the trance dance of the shaman is a central unifying force of the community. In the dance the shaman perceives his body as stretching and becoming elongated. His spirit soars out of the top of his head and is transformed into an animal. In the century old depictions of the trance dance, the bushman shaman absorb the energy of a dying eland and take on many of the magic animal’s physical characteristics. He perceives his transformed state as similar to being under water; he has difficulty breathing and feels weightless. When he returns from his spirit journey he is able to perform healing and even his sweat supposedly posses curative powers. A few days later the shaman would be able to reflect upon his experience and paint it in natural rock shelters found in the surrounding cliffs. There was no esoteric stream of wisdom and everyone in the village would share in knowledge of the spirit world.

“Among the Eskimo shaman’s clairvoyance is the result of qaumenaq, which means ‘lightning’ or ‘illumination’. It is a mysterious light which the shaman suddenly feels in his body, inside his head, within the brain, enabling him to see in the dark, both literally and metaphorically speaking, for he can now even with closed eyes, see through darkness and perceive things and coming events which are hidden from others. With the experience of the light goes a feeling of ascension, distant vision, clairvoyance, the perception of invisible entities and foreknowledge of the future. There is an interesting parallel, despite differences, in the initiation of Australian medicine-men, who go through a ritual death, and are filled with solidified light in the form of rock-crystals; on returning to life they have similar powers of clairvoyance and extra-sensory perception.”
– John Ferguson, An Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Mysticism and the Mystery Religions

Hypnogogic images
“Hypnogogic images are the germinal stuff of dreams, and they usually begin with flashes of light. Often, an illuminated circle, lozenge, or other generally round form appears to come nearer and nearer, swelling to gigantic size. This particular image is known as the Isakower phenomenon, named after an Austrian psychoanalyst who first identified it. Isakower claimed the image was rooted in the memory of the mother’s breast as it approached the infant’s mouth.”
“Hypnagogic images can be interpreted in many different ways. Literally and figuratively, it’s all in the eye of the beholder. The drowsy person in the hypnagogic state is just as open to suggestions as subjects in the hypnotized state.”
“When people start floating n the hypnagogic state, the amplitude and frequency of brainwaves decrease. The alpha rhythms of wakefulness are progressively replaced by slower theta activity. This translates to a loss of volitional control, a sense of paralysis. As the person descends further into sleep itself, the outside physical world retreats to the fringe of consciousness and the new reality becomes the internal dream world.”

The final stage of hypnagogic images is, “polyopia, the multiplication of the image, usually seen in one eye….These specks of light…are produced by electrical activity in the visual system and brain. One can almost imagine the specks representing electric sparks flying along the neural pathways of the brain.” They may look like hundred of stars “but they can also take the form of spots, circles, swirls, grids, checkerboards, or other figures composed of curves or lines. They are easy to see in the dark, but, in the light, they are on the borderline of perception.”
“Even when the hypnagogic forms are not consciously noticed, they can still register as subliminal stimuli and influence subsequent image formation and fantasy.”
– Ronald K.Siegel, Fire in the Brain