Shaman’s World, by Paul Ayling




Welcome again to the world of the Shaman. Last time I talked about trees and getting to know them. About how they feel and perceive their world. We tend to distance ourselves from them and indeed from all of nature.

The closest most people get is sitting watching the amazing David Attenborough talk us through the wonders of the animal kingdom and this of course in the once removed comfort of our own sitting rooms, through the lens of our ever growing goggle box. It is possible now to go through life without ever touching or feeling a real, living thing. Apart from other human beings perhaps.

But outside is a whole, incredible universe just waiting to be met, engaged and embraced.
What I was saying in the last column is that it is possible to meet nature once again, whatever you’re age, as if you never come across it before. To form you’re own opinions, beliefs and bonds, with birds, plants, trees, animals and even stones.

In the shamanic belief all of these beings have a soul of their own and are therefore equal to us at least. We believe that everything that exists is created by the same power or energy. A great spirit if you like. If everything is created by the same energy, and all made from the same ingredients, as the Big Bang theory suggests then surely we are all very closely related. One big family in fact.

We seem to have trouble these days accepting people of different, race, religion or politics as being members of our immediate family, let alone, plants, trees and animals. Yet it was these beliefs that allowed indigenous peoples to live in harmony with their surroundings. Perhaps it is time to take a step backwards in order to move forwards?

So if every living thing has a soul it must be an individual. Just as we are all human beings of different, race, sex and creed with our own individual names and personalities, so then are trees subdivided into genus and species but each having its own distinct nature. This applies to all creatures, all of creation. A whole universe of unique beings, each expressing that individuality in shape, size, form and language (of their own type).

To me this is an incredible vision. A mind boggling, awe inspiring, exciting and fantastic universe of possibilities. Billions of other beings to interact with. Using the exercise I described last time with the tree, I have made a start. A tiny inroad into an understanding of life.

I continue each day and each meeting brings a new surprise, a new inspiration, a mind re-boggled!
This is an amazing and beautiful universe that we are living in and by re-engaging with it all, we can feel and understand our place in it. Surely then we will be less inclined to damage and harm it. After all, we are talking about our relatives here and we all want to see our families thrive, right?

The beginning then is to unlearn all the limiting “facts” we have absorbed about the life that surrounds us and start experiencing it anew, without any preconceived opinions, with open minds and hearts. Let it’s knowledge and wisdom flow into you and see for yourself how happy everything is to be alive!
Life shows it’s gratitude by living and I for one feel privileged to be part of it.




About the Author

Carl Eldridge
Carl Eldridge is a hugely experienced journalist who has worked on local and national newspapers, magazines and written for websites over the past 30 years. He lives in Bognor Regis with his wife and son.