I don’t think there’s anything more difficult and yet more rewarding than relationships. In the Christian Church when you get a child baptized the priest, the pastor or the minister will tell parents and god-parents to nourish their children with love, discipline, routine and spiritual guidance. There’s an expectation or request that family members and even congregation members commit and devote to the next generation.
“Get involved in your community. Contribute to the World around you. Give the best of yourself to your family and your people.”
It takes a village to bring up a child and this, is certainly a theme Christians take to heart.
People are often surprised when I speak in a positive way about Christianity. There’s this assumption or perhaps even expectation that because I follow the Shaman’s path I should be at war with all Religions. During a recent visit to Concordia University, I received an interesting apology from one of the students. This young lady approached me at the end of the evening, and explained to me how she was extremely loyal to the Christian Church.
“I almost didn’t make it to tonight’s presentation,” she told me, “because I feared it would be seen as some kind of betrayal against my own faith.”
It was obviously something that meant a lot to her because she whimpered through her story. She was genuinely distraught.
“Shamanism isn’t a Religion,” I told her while grabbing her shaking hands, “you don’t have to worry, you haven’t betrayed anyone. Shamanism can actually be found at the roots of all Religions. Religion at some point was meant to complete the shamanic experience the same way that Shamanism often completes religious ways today.”
Two other students approached while I was sharing these facts and seemed relieved by them; but each from different perspectives. While one young lady struggled with loyalty and commitment towards the Church; another student seemed completely against the idea of religious institutions.
“I’m hopeful,” this other young lady announced tainted with a little anger, “that the future may hold less people who blindly follow Religion.”
The third student, a young man replied: “I may be insensitive; but I don’t really care about what others think of me or my beliefs. I just want to have a space where I can express myself without being persecuted. I like the idea of having many Religions or many perspectives coming together. I like the teachings of the Medicine Wheel because they seem to be saying: All perspectives have a place and have equal value.”
On that note I walked away with a smile. Sometimes I wish we could give weekend retreats and allow the students to speak more; question more; and explore more of their thoughts, their feelings, nature and the stars.
It’s definitely something to organize in the future.
Inter-relations on the Medicine Wheel speak of relationships not only with humans (or any other external reality like animals, trees, objects etc.…), but also with different dimensions of the self or the dreaming. For example, I was in Montreal today with G because of a doctor’s appointment. Spring was definitely in the air with +10 degrees Celsius, beautiful sunshine, and clear sidewalks (no more snow). G often relates to the World around him through stories. He’s an avid reader and a movie enthusiast. There’s no detail around or within him that doesn’t trigger some reference to some movie / storybook scene. It always makes me chuckle when G speaks of his car as the Enterprise (from Star Trek); or takes note of people in a crowd according to particular movie characters. I can’t wait for the Hobbit to be out of movie theatres…
Me on the other hand seem to come from a more “macabre” (as Gérard pointed out today) perspective. Death is more often than not my point of reference to pretty much everything. I found out today that G has never been to a funeral and has never had anyone die in his life. Of course this little detail came up after I mentioned this long list of personal observations relating to death. Interestingly enough, how we relate to each other connects to how we relate to ourselves and to the world around us. Inter-Relations suddenly touch different realities or different phases of our journey and our development as collective creatures.
The Moon of Inter-Relations; which is the 7th Moon on the Medicine Wheel is more then just about how we get along with people. It’s about how we relate to the World around us; which means that it’s about how we were brought up or how we were conditioned. When I look back at my childhood and adolescence I can already see how I related to myself, and others. 47 years later I can pat myself on the back for many major changes in my life; but I can also see that there is still lots to learn. It seems relating to the World is a continuous and perhaps infinite journey.