Brunch with the Great Spirit
Harvest: Partnering with the Source and Serving Life
Shamanic Death and Rebirth
’I see a time of Seven Generations when all the colors of mankind will gather under the Sacred Tree of Life and the whole Earth will become One Circle again.’
The perspective of the Fifth Dimension isn’t the only truth. Nor is it the best truth. Nevertheless, it puts all other perspectives in their proper place. The Fifth Dimension can’t be colonized or owned by any religion or belief system, but it contains them all. It incorporates all suffering and all joy. It is the home of the all-enveloping embrace of the Great Mystery and it is always everywhere. Entry to it is usually preceded by a death of some kind. Most recently for me, it involved the death of a belief system that I’d been carrying in my cells since my first few weeks of life.
I’d been under a lot of pressure. Writing this book alongside all that was happening in the world had been a genuine threshing. The grain of my experience and the practices I wanted to share had been separated from their husks by the ritual of writing. At one point, I genuinely felt that I might be losing my marbles. Everything was making me cry. Not just a few teardrops, but at times an uncontrollable torrent. I felt pressure building up inside me. I felt a connection through my father ’s line to all the men who hadn’t known how and when to ask for help. I’m not someone who worries about himself a lot. I know my strength, but at that point I became genuinely concerned that my heart couldn’t manage the stretch. I know it sounds dramatic, and it was. I was out of control in a way I hadn’t been for more than 30 years. That breakthrough had opened the door to the adventure that had led me to where I was. Who knew where this one would take me?
Benevolent Death came into the room. I had entered a spontaneous ritual.
Benevolent Death asked me, ’What is ready to die?’
Through the breaking waves of emotion, I told Death that I’d always kept a part of my heart hidden. When I had been very young, when this world had felt unbearably raw and bleak I had survived by keeping a part of my essence in the spirit world, protected by my guardian angel. This had become my number one survival strategy: retreating to that world and never really allowing myself to trust in the support of any human being. But now, through writing this book, I had agreed to bring another level of my medicine to Earth and I had to recognize I couldn’t do it alone. I needed support. I needed to trust. Shaking from this internal earthquake, my armour cracked and falling, I was standing at the edge of the known.
As I told Death why I was there, Death nodded slowly in reply and the door between the worlds opened in front of me. Through the storm, I felt that familiar feeling of everything beginning to fall away.
Once the door was fully open, I stepped through. There was a moment of quiet and focused intention. My last thought was one of gratitude for Susannah, who was sitting quietly by my side. I knew she would keep this space safe for me. Everything was taken care of and I could let go.
The shamanic death of totally letting go means encountering death while still alive. It means letting our individual form dissolve and merge with the Cosmos. It strips us naked. Don’t invoke it if you wish to remain hidden from yourself. Or if you wish to present only half of your story. This is an all-or-nothing experience. But such a direct experience of the source gives us what I believe all of us are longing for. It reminds us, not in theory but in actuality, that we are love beyond imagination, that we are choosing the story we tell and that we are the universe getting to know itself through our experience — all of it, without exception.
We can’t force this opportunity to present itself to us. But we can stack the cards by showing up often and presenting ourselves at this doorway between worlds. Every now and then the door will open, and when it does, we can leap through. So, come with me now, if you will. I’m about to skydive into the arms of the Mystery. Don’t worry, all you need is to show up honestly, as you are, with the intention to learn. And repeating the practices I’ve shared with you on our journey together will have created enough structure and fluidity for you to have the possibility of experiencing the shamanic death of a total letting go and having the wherewithal to return, enriched beyond imagination, to continue your journey.
So, come, you are invited to take a little brunch with the Great Spirit.
PRACTICE: BRUNCH WITH THE GREAT SPIRIT
Call that Inner Shaman, and travel with me. Death has my heart in their hands and I hear my heart’s rhythm pulsing through the ocean of my blood. I know that this door opens rarely and there’s always fear when it does. But I see the edge of infinity and, as Don Juan said, infinity stares back at me, impassive and open.
Ready? Come with me now. Step off this edge with me and fall.
Okay? The rhythm is very fast and very steady, and the chants and drums of our people are all around us. The pulse of form and formless is already unwrapping muscle from bone, releasing spirit from flesh. Very soon, through the swirling tunnels of universal mind, everything will begin to dissolve. We are already stripped of solid form. There is nobody here to feel afraid or to feel pain, there is simply an echoing infinity of everything and nothing embracing as this Universal Consciousness dreams itself through all things and finds out just exactly who it is. Here all time is happening at once, yet we are beyond time. There is only this. All polarities and dualities have dissolved back into the infinite ocean from which they were born. Pulse. Silence. Everything. Nothing. Silence. Pulse. Forever.
We’ve been here before, you and I. We were here at the beginning. We will be here at the end.
We are dreaming and we are totally awake.
The pulse continues. We are geometric perfection dancing in and out of form. We are inside the tiniest tear and the sweetest smile. We are inside all cries of agony and ecstasy, of remembering and forgetting. Every note and every impossible piece of artistry is present. There is death of every kind and we are there inside all of it as killer and killed. And there is life of every kind and all that is yet to be imagined. All polarities arise here. We are the blackest light that shines. We are everything inside everything. Everything. Here, everything is everything.
This door between worlds is always open. There is always going and returning, and returning is being reborn. The pulse turns everything back into something. And the something recognizes itself as a wave, or a fractal of a flame. An invisible breath of Air breaks free to be itself and a form that is a body welcomes the travelling spirit home. There is a long time of falling back into infinity and returning to self. From this perspective, all the Five Dimensions of Relationship are the universal source getting to know itself.
And we are not alone. We never have been. And we never will be. We support and we are supported. It’s as easy as breathing. In. Out. In. Out.
So here we are, back in this world. There’s no feeling of loss when we return. Gratitude doesn’t even begin to cover it.
Imagine you have chosen to be here on this Earth. Imagine you love life in a body. Imagine you love the creativity in duality and polarity. Yes, there is trouble here. Lots of it. Mostly because we’ve forgotten that we are family. Every single one of us comes from the same place. Dissolving reminds me of this. It reminds me that I, you and all things are here to play our role in the full knowledge that we are all just the universe getting to know itself through us. This is about as real as reality gets. And I love it because it stops me taking myself and my identities, roles and ideas too seriously. And that frees the shamanic artist in me to take everything that life brings as an invitation to create.
Here we are now. Returned from our journey and fully embodied. Everything is the same and everything has changed. Our presence is required. There is work to be done. There is medicine to share. The jewel of our soul wants to know itself and be known. Let’s see what we can discover today. Let’s see what we can create. Body breathing. Spirit and matter as one.
My elders tell me that after returning from any journey like this, it’s a good thing to share our experience with people who want to know us as we are. In the experiencing and the sharing, we own and become the medicine we have discovered. Your Inner Shaman is so ready to help you do this. And I trust them and I trust your medicine. All your allies and guardians and, most importantly, your experience of connection through your body to the life that lives it, are the umbilical cord that connects your imaginal and physical worlds, your dream and its manifestation.
This is the gig here for all of us: total commitment to being who we are. Total commitment to burning as brightly as we can until there is nothing left of our body but dust. As for the spirit, who knows where that is headed? That’s why the Great Mystery is my master. That Mystery knows how to keep a secret and hide it in plain sight.