Shamanic Perspectives of the Holidays

shamanic-holidays

Hi, Lujan

A few weeks ago I posted a comment concerning diversity.  The comment inspired no response.  I decided to pursue the point with a second comment.   While considering my wording, I was contacted by my daughter who wished me a happy Father’s Day.  As always, hearing from her filled my heart with joy.  When I then completed my blog post, on a whim I added a comment wishing all fathers out there a Happy Father’s day.  I wanted to share that feeling of joy I received from my daughter.

My diversity point was left untouched, but the Father’s Day comment generated an immediate flurry of responses.  The comments were unanimously critical of the notion of subscribing to holidays.  Yours and one other in particular were very eloquent and provided an illuminating perspective on the issue.

I’m not particularly attached to holidays, especially as I work in a hospital which minimizes their quality, given that hospitals have no holiday from their clinical mandate.  Nonetheless, the illumination settled and I proceeded in its light.

  • Shortly thereafter a number of recognitions occurred to me.
  • Vacations are a type of holiday.  In fact they are often referred to as such.
  • Every culture not only supports numerous holidays, they are in a fundamental sense defined by them.
  • Summer holidays, numerous religious holidays, birthdays, national holidays, weekends.  The list goes on.  Worldwide.
  • Entire commercial structures are built around these holidays.  Industries support them.  From beach towels and swimsuits, to summer concert series, happy hours, religious icons and clothing, etc.

The affective quality of a holiday can extend right down to the ubiquitous use of cell phones, where people can be seen to be staring at their handheld screens throughout virtually all hours and places, in effect taking a holiday from alternate awareness that might otherwise characterize those particular moments.  Even these micro-holidays have major industries encouraging them.

What then about the foods and music that support all of these cultural holidays?  Food and music are themselves elements of a holiday perspective, as when old familiar song or dish recalls past pleasures and challenges, again constituting a holiday from the wider possibilities of a particular moment.

Holidays are in an essential regard synonymous with culture.  The connection is deep.  Traditional food, clothing, music and art have significant links to the very occasions that inspire and define holidays.

Cultures are beings unto themselves.  They have value, pride and identities.  It’s hardly a surprise that in religious art depicting religious characters and events – the events at the root of thousands of holidays – physical characteristics reflect those cultures.  Jesus becomes a white man in Western art.  Or black in African art.  Hindu religious characters all depicted with Hindu features.

It appears that cultures are bastions of social construction.  Is that fundamentally a hindrance?  If so does that realization recommend a global archetype of non-diversity?

You yourself have revealed that the cosmic figure at the center of the Black Hole on the other end of our universe is an Oriental warrior?  Sounds quite like the Nagual Lujan at the beginning of your Parallel Perception book.  Not a Black man. Nor White.  Nor Yaqui like Juan Matus.  Oriental.  On quick glance, itself a construct?

Too quick.  No doubt.  In an important sense, maybe all culture pales in the simple light of listening to the sound of silent breath.

In the end I have no problem with leaving everything.  I retain the notion though that the difference between abandoning the world and leaving it, is that when leaving it you take some of its people with you.  How?  By communing with them in their language.  That would be their culture.  The jewels within their diversity.

Thanks for your attention.

Jerry Lee

Yes Jerry, I have seen an Oriental face within the void. But its origins weren’t really Oriental – they just had the shape – and that was the only description I could give it. It was more powerful than anything Oriental that has appeared on this planet, so I would say it is not Oriental. Its features conveyed a feeling.

I am not Chinese, yet I practice the lost art of Lo Ban Pai. I don’t subscribe to holidays. I don’t celebrate any events with a yearly cycle. I don’t wear conventional clothing. I have all my clothes made. I do not subscribe to any culture or religion. I just recognize the truth.

Just for one example, I don’t celebrate Christmas because it has so many social moorings affixed to it. When someone asks me how old I am I very rarely tell them. If someone asks me why I am so young for my age I say it is because I don’t do the normal things that trap me in a yearly cycle. I don’t harbor ill will in any shape or form.

In the art of Lo Ban Pai it is imperative to focus on the feeling that is arising as a silent indicator of arriving at a position that can’t be located that builds upon itself as an omnipresent factor that has nothing similar to it. For example, the day before in terms of practicing the system.

I even find trying to explain these concepts a little bit futile but in the same breath we must not be involved in thought and just appreciate the moment that arises. Following the need to do what has to be done instead of trying to find something to do, is a prime example of being simply within the moment that continually escapes us.

Look for the kindness and the love that is openly given and received in all circumstances. See repetition as a mooring that has attachments affixed to it and something to defend because of this.

It is not a celebration that is in question, it is how the attachment of our social times demand us in terms of behaving in a way that excludes the fundamental truths of our lives.

When a man is in his sixties or seventies and his son is forty or fifty, they are no longer father and son. They are just men that must travel their path without attachment toward the idea of father and son. It is only the realization that they are earthlings experiencing the company of one another if harmonious and if not they go their way that determines their fate collectively or individually.

To grasp another’s hand with kindness and compassion is never uninteresting or boring. To slam a door and eat food when one is unhappy brings a human being into a wretched state where they will not recognize through the harshness of that repetitious nature that kindness and a gentle touch and a compassionate gesture towards their dilemma brings relief to a world community that has been trained not to recognize what needs to be done.

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1 Comment
  1. “It is not a celebration that is in question, it is how the attachment of our social times demand us in terms of behaving in a way that excludes the fundamental truths of our lives.”

    What a pearl Lujan! This succinct clarification is rich.

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