Who owns our thoughts? Is our imaginal world, the space where ideas come together, scenarios are run through, and genius emerges, solely the result of our own creative capacity? Are our thoughts exclusively constructed within the boundaries of our personal minds? Or should someone, or something else get credit or criticism for the outpourings of our inner worlds?
As a shamanic practitioner, not only have I personally asked these questions, but as a space holder for others’ journey work I also get asked, often, how do we know it is not our minds “making up” it all up. I obviously do not know the absolutely answer to this question, and I generally recommend participants allow their own experiences (including that which follows their journey work practices) to either confirm or refute the work. Shamanic journey work is the scientific method for spirituality, the path of direct revelation and self-empowerment.
But, regardless of that, these questions have recently stirred up contemplation about our curious assumption that we are solely in charge and responsible for our creative thought. I mean, why do we assume there is a barrier between what is happening in our minds, often termed the psyche, and what is happening outside of us? We are porous in every other way: (at least most of us are fortunate to have) a sense of smell, sight, hearing, proprioception, interoception, touch, temperature, and why not psychologically? Is the organ of the mind any less apt to pick up on psychic information floating around its external environment, than our sense of smell is to pick up on scent? I think not. It seems most logical to assume that any aspect of us, that builds our conception of reality, including our moment to moment experiences, is behaving similarly, though functionally unique, to all other aspects of us. We are a collection of capacities that perceive and interpret ‘bits’ of information flowing within and around us. It is with these bits of information, and the stored reference points created by past experiences (memory), that generate our interpretation of reality, our experience.
When we engage in intentional spiritual work, we are choosing to pay attention to specific sources and frequencies of information. It is true that in any one moment of time we are receiving millions (if not billions) of bits of information coming into ALL of our perceptive organs; however, we can choose to PAY ATTENTION to specific forms of information. We can choose to be aware of sound in the form of conversation, and although there is a whole world of light, color, and movement we will barely remember or realize what we are actually seeing; or we could be engrossed with light and color in the form of a movie and barely realize the world of scent playing out around us. And sometimes we are in a haze and are barely conscious of ANY information flowing around us, but that doesn’t mean its doesn’t get in and affect us. I would suggest the same happens with psychic, and/or spiritual information: it is all there, being picked up by us, but most often rarely acknowledged as having flowed IN and affected us.
Here’s an example of what I’m talking about:
Yesterday, my husband had a thought “interesting that spiders don’t get stuck in the stickiness of their own web”. He didn’t speak this thought out loud, and he had never pondered this reality before yesterday morning. By lunch, he had collected our daughter from school. While being driven home from school, she asks “Daddy, how come spiders don’t get stuck in their own web?”.
This example is not any different from when a friend calls you, right at the moment you were thinking of them; or when two people at work come to the exact same, never before thought of solution, on the same morning, to a complex problem that has been baffling everyone for weeks. These are every day examples of people tuning into the the same “frequency” and transmitting similar “data”. I’d say its not more a coincidence than two people eating at the same diner both picking up on the smell of burgers being grilled.
From my understanding, when we do shamanic journey work we are intentionally asking to tune into compassionate and wise frequencies, and from those connections we can receive wise and compassion insight, healing, and blessing. For me, life has confirmed the efficacy of this practice. But, as any critical thinker would suggest to another, try it before you buy it.