Urban Shaman (I)

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Urban Shaman

A dark and stormy night

I am an urban shaman. You would not know me, even if you saw me. We slide between the two worlds of sleep and wakefulness. We are inconspicuous and need to be, to go about our work. We are the existential back room boys (and girls). You would pass us in the street without a second glance. You might throw us money, thinking we were tramps or shun us for the same reason. We would accept the cash – not because we want or need it but simply to avoid the attention that any kind of conflict brings. We might provide impromptu magic shows for the odd change or even for the fun of it but most of the time we do not want to be noticed as only the free can travel and study the great mystery of life.

You, weighed down by ordinary life, are trapped in the here and now. We slide between heaven and Earth, and oh yes, hell when we need to. No fast cars, fast women, fast life styles for us. No families, no friends – just colleagues. No home, no possessions. No past, no future. No recreational drugs, no alcohol – what we do, we do for a purpose. No careers, no jobs except for passing needs.

We shun your queries, your stares. We ignore your comments, your attempts to distract us and show off. We are passing clouds, the wind that disturbs you as it passes by on its way somewhere else. We are the strange figures in your dream landscapes – that which you see out of the corner of your eye and question 'Was that a person?' disappearing when you look at us directly.

We have the honed willpower you call hypnosis, which your scientists ignore, thinking the world works totally by accident! Pah! What strange beliefs! The only accidents I know of are where people abandon control of their lives end up in a mess because of it. We seize our lives from the instant we enter this world as conscious beings. We don't claim birth as an accident but as an intention to get born here, now. The only reason we fail in any task is that we allow ourselves to be distracted by outside forces – not the shaman though. Of course, if you don't want to take responsibility for the world, it's easy to claim you can't do anything about anything else. Poor victims, needing somebody to rescue them and wipe their childish behinds! (We do occasionally save people, but it is more a reminding them of who they are and then letting them grow again, by letting them go). We control our world – it doesn't control us. This doesn't mean we force it to do something, just move with it in harmony, on the great journey that goes nowhere.

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