From Slave to Shaman


by Julian Rose, Contributor, Waking Times

How many times have you felt like a hapless onlooker in a world seemingly gone insane?

How many times have you wondered how things ever managed to get into the unprecedented mess they are in today?

How many times have you longed to escape this crazy turmoil?

I’m confident to predict that the answer is ‘many’.

But reflect on this: there must be thousands, if not millions and quite possibly billions, who feel exactly the same way. Let us assume the possibility that the majority of those living on this planet have had such thoughts from time to time. What does this tell us?

It tells us that we see our lives and what goes on ‘out there’, as two separate realities. It suggests that we feel largely removed and alienated from the goings-on of the planet, regardless of the fact that we live off its (unequally) shared resources.

Now the trouble with all this is that, in truth, we are actually a part of the problem we see as separate from ourselves. We are part of the reason there is such a mess ‘out there’ in the first place.

We are actually contributors to the state of insanity which prevails around us; unless of course, we realize this and are working to do something about it.

The underlying cause of this schism between how we see reality and how we see ourselves, is hundreds and possibly thousands of years of indoctrination; of deliberate programming. We have been educated to believe that we are not responsible for that which happens beyond the four walls of our home, the garden fence and the office.

We’ve been told that if we respect the laws and protocols enshrined in our society, and behave like proper, respectable citizens, at the end of it all we will be able to take comfort in from the fact that we ‘did the right thing’.

If we also adopt some moral ‘truth’s’ as proclaimed by the religious institutions of the prevailing status quo – then that gets another tick. And if we also seek to fulfil the requirements of the nine to five working week, diligently and unquestioningly, that will further enhance the view that we are sensible, responsible citizens. Well adapted to the road of safety and conformity.

So effective has this process of indoctrination been for so many, for so long, that the idea of anything seriously interrupting the rhythm of the fixed routines that make-up the standard working-eating-sleeping week, is regarded in horror. Better to keep your head down, is the standard advice, and try to bypass whatever those who manage the ‘great out there’ are getting up to; however extreme the mess being made of our planetary home and however insane the destruction being perpetrated in the rush for wealth, power and exclusivity.

No, we are told, it’s only fools who would risk their reputations and moral rectitude by seeking to address or even confront, the territories presided over by those left to manage that which takes place beyond the garden gate, the home and the office.

Now we all know how the seeming safety provided by largely thoughtless repetition can lock us into resistance to change. There is something about ‘routine’, however mundane and unimaginative, which acts as a kind of drug, clouding the urge to follow one’s inner voice of greater aspiration and purpose. That which would finally free one from so unquestioningly playing out the role of slave to the system.

Many of those who retreat from the challenge of freedom, turn instead to religion, as a kind of escape route for a repressed and yearning soul. On offer here appears to be a certain level of surety concerning how to negotiate a way through life’s pit-falls. Religion, after all, likes to provide a rather simple formula for surviving within the crumbling foundations of a stagnant status quo.

The Christian church, for example, is given to proclaiming a happy ending for all who say their prayers and remain humble in the face of adversity. It teaches one to obey the authority of God and the State and to offer charity to those in need.

Its formula is carefully devised to avoid any confrontation with ‘the powers that be’; the status quo and controlling authority of the day. Although it may decry war, it will not advise its flock to campaign against the arms trade. Although it may teach respect for nature, it will not stand-up to be counted when it becomes known that genetically modified organisms and toxic chemicals are destroying the natural environment.

It has in common with many of to-days so-called ‘spiritual paths’, the desire to ‘protect’ rather than to ‘protest’. It teaches that, provided we do everything according to its rule book, we will go to heaven when we die; and here everything will be done to assure a very pleasant stay for all good followers.

In proclaiming ‘heaven’ to be the happy ending place for all ‘believers’, the church avoids taking any responsibility for the condition of the planet it leaves behind. The fact that one might come round again and be confronted by that which one failed to take responsibility for in the previous life time, is studiously avoided.

So ‘no reincarnation’ means no need to come face to face with the consequences of one’s actions. Or to revisit the negative actions of one’s past. No ‘karma’- no responsibility. If one believes one’s not coming back, there is a low incentive to concern oneself with cleaning up the mess one has left behind. That includes turning the other way while others destroy the planetary resource base.

Church teaching has thus found, and proclaimed, a great escape route – and millions seem happy to take it…







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