My copyrighted, unreleased book excerpts are posted here to hopefully get you excited too. Comments are greatly appreciated as I hope to address many questions in the conclusion chapter!
Excerpts and Sampling Text
The Lightning Project Writings on Personal Shamanism
by Sue George
©2023 All Rights Reserved
Excerpts from Preface
“…about shamanic perspective, expression, and personal shamanism for self healing.
Shamanic knowledge and healing responds to our truth in the way that the sky responds to the ground to produce lightning. I will expand on personal truth…”
“Our individual expression of our true self, our own personal culture, is known to be thee medicine in shamanism. It is what helps us to know ourselves as whole, and it is what helps us to maintain the awareness of that wholeness. Does this mean that you must practice shamanism? Absolutely not.”
“Shamanism includes the highest form of natural perception, a window into that perception, and the things that we perceive. It is also the trust-built partnership via altered states, between the practitioner and their helping spirits and the unique expression of the practitioner’s practice.”
“There is no one book of ultimate belief in shamanism. Rather than belief, it is experience, and each practitioner might write their own book if they are so inclined. Practitioners practice setting all beliefs and limitations aside when seeking answers in altered states. The most profound same-result for every healing practitioner however, may be the constant unfolding of the reality that we have been and always will be complete and that we have and always will belong. Shamanism is …”
“Perhaps most issues we have as human beings and issues we have with environmental resources and conservation concerns stems from the belief that we are not whole and that we must “perform” and “get” in order to belong. But performance which is based on …”
“There comes immeasurable gratitude for life and for our world, and even for past experience, with the practice of personal shamanism. Wholeness is not some bland thing. With daily practice, truth, healing, and wonder constantly unfolds. So how does one assign a one-to-two sentence definition to something like that? How does one assign a definition that would not limit the possibilities and render itself null the very next day? Shamanism is everything – when we are shaman-ic.”
Excerpts from Chapter 1
Q.Generally speaking, what is shamanism?
Q.What is shamanic healing?
Q.Do shamanic practitioners use drugs to induce altered states?
Q.What does a shamanic practitioner do?
…Since we are not talking about vocational shamanic practitioners who practice on others, I will answer the same way for one who practices for themselves. One who practices shamanism pursues…
Q.What does a personal shamanic practitioner look like?
…Those who do shamanic healing work, especially for others, are expected to be well-balanced people who function well in both “the ordinary world” and in “the shamanic world,” and who differentiate between the two while easily moving between both “worlds”…
In other words, a shamanic practitioner is not someone who abandons their shopping cart at the check-out to chase spirits, or who rides their bike into a ravine because they were in a trance, or who thinks everything that everyone says is a message from the spirits.
Everything does carry messages. Everything can teach. But shamanic states of consciousness are initiated when it is appropriate to do so, and after cleansing and preparation so that there is clarity. It is best for one who practices for their own wellness to aim for the same balanced thought and behavior as one who serves as a shaman or shamanic practitioner by vocation. Why wouldn’t one aim for quality and stability?
If your question is in regard to what they actually wear, everyone is different and shamanism is everyone’s right to practice. Chances are that you’ve seen people who practice shamanism, and they didn’t look so different from anyone else in your community. Though it is common to develop one’s own personal ceremonial look, to make one’s own spiritual jewelry, and other things like that. “The look” therefore, is completely up to the person’s shamanic expression and/or culture.
Q.What kind of person practices shamanism?
Q.What does shamanism teach about God?
Q.Is shamanism transcendance?
Q.Is shamanism dangerous?
Q.What is the result of practicing shamanism?
Q.Does shamanism try to recruit people?
Q.To whose benefit is shamanism?
Excerpts from Chapter 2
“Trisha: Wait, you do that altered state stuff? Really? Is it like, all zen with chimes, or drugs?! Oh God, don’t tell me you’re doing drugs with this thing though Sue.
Sue: Seriously? Look into my eyeballs Tee. (laugh)
I think I know what’s going through your mind right now. Try to go blank for a second because movies and tv mess perception a bit. Also, some indigenous tribes have ways of doing things in their tribe’s ways, and they know what they’re doing. But those ways are not necessarily what’s involved in a non-tribal-specific person’s practice – not in everyday shamanism.
No, I don’t do drugs and I actually don’t even drink. There is a well-known…”
“Sue: Right. Thanks.
There are some teachers who maybe shouldn’t be teaching altered states, and also people sometimes just try things that they’ve heard about – without ever seeking a mentor and a safe method. It’s like, if your friend likes reading Psychology Today, and they want to practice psychotherapy on you, you’d say no right? (laugh)
Trisha: I’d definitely say no, especially with some of my friends. (laugh)
Sue: Yea, good choice. (laugh) Obviously, I don’t know the details of your friend’s experience, so I can only give general comments about safe practice when engaging in altered states. Anytime you purposefully go into an altered state, you’re going deeper into consciousness than you are when you’re sitting here talking right now. Some of us might say that you’re really going in or out into “Everything.”
Let’s say that everything and anything exists “in” there. For the sake of time restraints today, just imagine that there are 3…”
“Trisha: Oh my God, haha. Wow. I like the driving analogy. Go on.
Sue: So, if you’re driving on the parkway and you see deer on the side of the road, you don’t stare at the deer and drive into a ditch right? You can sort of think of it in that way (once you get over some shock of the beauty).
You’d want to know your intention and focus to go deeper into those safe worlds as quickly as possible because your true self and that place of truth and safety is your goal. To be honest, I’ve met many people who hang out in areas of consciousness that they might think are the best simply because they realized they can travel beyond their thoughts and experience something else. Many mystical people describe what is experienced in the middle world (that’s the third world that I’m talking about.) But just because it’s “something,” that doesn’t mean it’s the best thing. And it doesn’t mean they should teach others to get to …”
Reggie: Great. A little scary, but great. I’m heading to med school in a couple months.
Sue: That’s so awesome! You knew you wanted to do this since you were young right?
Reggie: I really did, yes. Not to change the subject, but I noticed a painting on your wall while I was talking with your husband. It looks like one of those shamanic art paintings. Did you do it?
Sue: Yes, and I’m pleased that you assigned it to a known genre.
Reggie: (laughs) I might know a little, but I’m not sure. What is shamanism?
Sue: Shamanism is the best self-diagnostic and remedy resource that we naturally possess. It’s Earth-centered and helps us connect with Nature, including our natural, true selves.
So, in shamanism, a person understands illnesses to be the result of an illusion of separation rather than the truth – that we are and always have been whole. You might be extra interested in this right now.
Reggie: What do you mean, that changing perception can cure illness?
Sue: A change in perception can certainly lead to wellness. I can tell you that there will always be a need for medical heroes, and that shamanic practice is…”
“…need names… arm, lower intestine, uvula… and you’d call them “parts.” But it would be weird to talk about reality and the whole of existence as having parts like saying you have a safe “guide-part” or received knowledge from “parts.” (laugh) I have a funny image in my head right now.
Reggie: Haha, sure. Got it. Go on. This is the most insightful and somewhat humorous conversation I’ve had in a while.
Sue: Haha, anyway… It’s a good idea to know aspects – to understand the bigger picture.
Remember how we agreed about not being able to see the whole picture, and that our rules and ideas about life distort truth? Shamanism is not religious because it is only concerned with truth in original wholeness – which everybody only usually understands in parts – thus we get religions. There can be as many religions as there are people, including all the people who ever lived or will live.
Shamanism is a natural perceptive ability to find …”
“So why is this dialogue story here? It is here because it represents the reality that many people do fear shamanism and do have misconceptions about it. It also represents a reality, especially as an ex-fundamentalist. That reality is insightful for those who are truly interested in shamanism. You need to know that beliefs or no beliefs, shamanic perception is a natural perception, and it is your right as well as anyone else’s to cultivate that perception. Also…”
“Maura: Earth-based? Are you into Paganism? I rebuke that. I believe that through Jesus I’m made whole.
Sue: A person who identifies as Pagan can practice shamanism, but shamanism is for everyone. It’s our birthright to be able to connect with our true self, or true nature, so anyone can pursue shamanism and there’s no one single way to practice it, though there are some common practices that make shamanism what it is. But it’s not about any kind of believing or not believing. It’s experiencing our true nature.
Please don’t rebuke things that I’m saying. I don’t do that to you.
Maura: True nature? So do you worship trees and spirits and stuff and not believe in God anymore? Is that your idea of true nature?
Sue: What I do is practice gratitude very often, even for the trees and their wisdom.
You’re familiar with what your bible says…”
“Maura: I can’t believe we’re having this conversation. I don’t know what happened to you. So, do you feel that you’re equal with God since you don’t feel you have to worship God? That’s blasphemy. It was probably because you read non-Christian books that you got confused in the first place. We are not of this world! We’re strangers here.
Sue: Oh my gosh. I just got a sinking feeling hearing those words again. I am so very thankful to have learned how much I do belong in this world. For the knowledge of and the feeling of being home, I am suddenly twice as glad. And, please remember your perception and terms and definitions are different from mine. It’s like two separate conversations that we’re having here with the addition of many accusations.
When you speak about God, I think I’m hearing God-a-separate-entity-from-me. Am I understanding you correctly?
Maura: Yes, but the…”
Excerpts from Chapter 3
“Time and place are illusions. It’s okay if you disagree! But whenever we line up with our personal truth, we see this most prevalently. One way that we experience this is by setting an intention or sending out a question to our spirit helpers (and/or aspects of self and/or the universe, etc.) and using our best shamanic perception to decipher the responses from our own mind-stuff.
For instance, I planned a 3-day project for this chapter. Though I would not begin that project for some days later, I aligned myself with something that is meant to be a part of my personal… “
“When we align ourselves with our truth, we experience our “being.” Our Being is where everything (our movement, our expression, etc.) is. But there simply is no such thing as time and place. For there to be a place, there would have to be no place and at least 2 places, plural. I hope I didn’t pop your brain just now. Trust, you are safe.
As a result of setting intention for this project, much information came pouring in almost immediately. Because ordinary life responsibilities (and enjoyment) are also real and important, I set aside only a little time on available days to journal information for this longer-than-3-day project…”
“2/23/23 Day 2 Evening Journal: While making granola in the oven, I looked out to see if there were any snowflakes as snow was in the forecast earlier. I saw 2 sticks in my mind’s eye and heard in my mind’s ear, “Down to Earth.” I’m very excited about this project lesson!
I went about my day, exchanging funny texts about weather with my adult daughter, preparing lunch for my youngest daughter, discussing haircuts with my oldest son, hearing about another garage band that my youngest son knows, discussing the grocery list with my husband…
In between, I wondered… Do people who don’t know they’re experiencing shamanic perception think they’re having a negative mental health event? If someone else looked out the window for snow and saw sticks, appearing like an image overlay or watermark, would they fear that they were experiencing a symptom of mental illness? I must explain the very obvious difference here.
For me, I’ve experienced these signs (which precede healing outcomes) since early childhood. One time for instance, I was a passenger in a vehicle and got a warning. I heard my self’s voice in my mind’s ear and saw (as an image overlay) a big white…”
If you’re interested in getting a copy of The Lightning Project, be sure to follow this blog for a release date! Artwork is in the making.