A shamanic journey story about human active ingredient, this post is for those who also sometimes struggle with the opinions and perspectives of political or religious people groups. (So all of us.)
Extract: n 2
a preparation containing the active ingredient of a substance in concentrated form:
“vanilla extract” Dictionary .com
A Little Bit of Backstory First
A lot changed for me over the past few years. At one point, I found myself feeling ugly because I was struggling to find that spark in a certain group of people. I thought if I could see their goodness I could love them and stop feeling gross in my heart. I felt that said religious & political group was somewhat of a threat to me. Deep down, I knew that I was missing some kind of realization because I had so often experienced a great sense of oneness with all that is – including humans.
Though it is widely accepted to be opposed to entire groups of people, I have long known that advocating for the separation of people or “calling them out” based on their opinions is not the path for me. Maybe its the right path for someone else. I do not know. But whenever I’ve chosen to voice what’s wrong or unjust, whenever I’ve pointed out wrongdoings or gone up against opposing religious or political opinions, my path has gotten crowded with metaphorical debris. I get blocked because I’m not walking my true path. No matter how angry I may get over the views of a person, a group, or a political party, the only way I can operate in this world while being true to my higher self is to refrain from engaging “the wrong wolf.” I cannot speak, post, or engage in any stick-it-to-em humiliation stuff without the wrong wolf growing and causing more separation, which is opposite unity. I will begin to experience physical symptoms almost immediately. Anyone who begins paying attention to it will notice this in themselves as well. It is the nature of things.
There is a story. In short, it explains that there are two wolves. There is a right-way wolf and a wrong-way wolf. The one that thrives is the one that you feed. These two wolves are in all of us. And while there have been throughout history many people who have successfully combined activism with unifying peace-work, it might be beyond my current skill level to do that using only the right wolf.
In healing work, the healing facilitator works on their own healing first. You’ve heard of healer heal thyself right? One reason is because when the healer learns that the healing is real, it is easy to know that the healing of others is completely possible as well. And it’s exciting to know that truth.
On that same note… To combine activism with peace-work, there needs to be a genuine belief that there can be peace resulting from unity because peace in our consensus world can’t exactly result from calling people names and pointing out faults in perspective. So how do we get to a point of genuine belief that peace and unity (even on a small familial or society level) is possible?
I think the aha moment is likely customized to each person. I do not think there’s one formula or method that would get every person to realize that we are and always have been united and complete. All I can do is share story and maybe spark a thought in one person’s heart.
The Extract Spirit
To tell this part of the story, I will be referring to the people group as Paisley, since I’m looking at my paisley blanket right now.
I took my ugliness feeling into a shamanic state with my spirit guide. My intention was set to Show me how to see that spark in this group so I can love them as I should – as part of humanity- and get rid of this ugly feeling.
I was taken to a plant, and then I was guided into the fruit of that plant. Within the fruit opened a big waiting room filled with Paisleys sitting in chairs. Most of them turned away from me. Then I realized that my daughter was with me, but she was there as a symbol of what I cherish and protect and not as a representation of her actual spirit. The Paisleys were very mean to her. In ordinary, consensus life, it is true that the Paisleys can seem to threaten what I cherish.
I felt a deep anger towards them, and that was a good thing. It meant that I was getting to the root of the problem. Before I got too angry, a tall Paisley representative approached me and guided my daughter and myself to safe place in the room. It was hospitable. It smiled.
It was representative of the cumulative spark (divine light/true self etc.) of Paisley community.
It is the extract, the truth, the eternal truth which does not consist of opinions and illusions and experiential perspectives. It is representative of the same truth that I hold for myself – that I am and always have been whole and one with all.
Duh, I thought to myself.
And then it smiled the kind of smile one might get from a mentor who knows you still haven’t gotten the whole gist of it yet. We talked, mostly without words.
It explained I’m not just the extract of Paisleys, Silly. You wanted to see their spark, so here I am appearing Paisley – as requested!
Mind blown. Duh, again.
Still, when going into the journey with the intention of understanding a people group, I had been separating them from All by my sheer consideration of a separate people group. But right there, in that waiting room inside a fruit, my heart changed and result immediately followed.
It was a healing.
In ordinary life, all my relationships changed in family and in community, and I even found friends in some of the most unlikely places!
I am open to them.
I am open – to them.
I made a choice. I didn’t go attacking with words. I decided to first take responsibility and fix my heart – once I was ready to face whatever issues came up. It was a good call. I highly recommend it.
The sharing of perspectives became easier. I heard, and I was heard. I was no longer blockading communication with that ugly heart-wall that had been taking up a portion of my heart. I am noticing far less threats than I previously imagined. I am finding out that, despite differences in perspective, most people are advocating for something that they truly believe will help humanity.
Imagine someone approaching you with a “solution” that would oppress you. Imagine what might happen if you immediately saw their heart’s desire to make a change for good while they pitched the idea. (Yes, there do exist some people who wake up in the morning and wonder how they can hurt others today, but we’re only talking about passionate perspectives here.)
I don’t agree with every person I meet. Heck, I barely agree with anybody! But I sure like people. I can say I love humanity because of it’s core, its extract, which is more visible now. And it’s quite beautiful. I cannot easily forget that I love it, therefore I cannot easily humiliate any part of it.
Our own personal work changes more and much more quickly than trying to change the minds of others. It’s okay to disagree. But it is my experiential understanding that what contributes to good relationships and even to compromise for good is focusing on The Extract of all life – however we may each define it of course.
Edit: Yes, tell your story. Yes, stand up for what you believe is right. Every once in a while, I share what I believe is a great resource for learning what is effective vs what makes things worse. United States Institute of Peace (USIP), which is unaffiliated with this site, offers courses for the public. I’ve taken some of them in the past, and I’ve benefitted! You might like to check out usip.org’s Global Campus. Again, this is an unaffiliated site. I just highly recommend it.
Do you have a story of finding this Extract? Why not share a few words?