Monday, August 31, 2009

Enlightenment in the Integral Age


A Guest Contribution
by Isis Cove Community Memeber,
Gary Stamper.



I recently heard a story about indigenous spiritual leaders who refused to integrate modern methods into their marketing despite poor results, saying that the word would go out on the wings of spirit to the collective, that even if only one person showed up, they would be the right person, and that all the other seats would be filled with spirit.

I'm reminded of the story about a religious man who, caught on the roof of his house as the flood waters rose all around him, beseached God to rescue him. As two boats and a helicopter came by and asked if he needed help, he told each that he was fine, God would save him. Finally, as he clung to the chimney with water just below his mouth and still rising, he cried out, "God, why hast thou forsaken me?" Suddenly, a booming voice rang out from the heavens: "Whaddya want, I sent you 2 boats and a helicopter!"

While I honor traditional methods and beliefs, I also see that Spirit moves through us, and that we are the manifestation of Spirit. What we do in the name of Spirit, and in integrity, is Spirit in Action. I also see that we are evolving creatures. As we evolve, so does our deepening understanding of God and the Universe. We can only see where our current structure of consciousness enables us to see, not beyond, and our perspectives are limited by those structures.

In other words, that all states of consciousness, right up to awareness of the non-dual, are available to anyone at any level of consciousness, has been demonstrated throughout the ages. Shamans and Medicine Men and Women have always had ready access to those altered states of consciousness (ever-present, never-changing, the formless), but they can only be interpreted from an individual's stage, or structure, of consciousness (always changing, evolutionary). What it means to be enlightened in the Integral age is very different from what it meant a thousand years ago, as newer stages of consciousness had not emerged and simply weren't available.

Unless we become aware of ourselves as evolving spiritual creatures, we'll keep doing what we've been doing, and getting the results we've been getting. Yes, I agree that the talks go out through the oneness of everything, into the collective unconscious, but I'd prefer that it also goes into as much of the collective consciousness, as well.

Post-modernism must integrate the wisdom and altered state skills of the Shaman and the Medicine Man/Woman, and indigenous teachers must integrate post modern stage consciousness. Anything less is only partial enlightenment.

Gary Stamper is an ordained Shamanic Minister and Priest who lives in Isis Cove, Western North Carolina. He is an international award-winning designer, and facilitates men’s groups, the Shamanic Priest Process, Calling in the Beloved, and relationship workshops with his partner, Anyaa. He is also the founder and former leader of one the largest integral communities in the world and is writing and illustrating a book called “How To Live With A Goddess Without Singing Soprano.”

Reawakening in The Great Smoky Mountains in Western North Carolina
www.garystamper.com Freelance Design and Illustration services
Beyond Integral - the blog
WORKSHOPS:
The Integral Warrior: Embodying the New Masculine
Discovering Your Sacred Purpose as a Couple
Calling in the Beloved: Manifesting the Love of your Life
Big Love: "the proof of your embodied realization is going to be in your relationships."

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Star Wolf's Welcome

My journey in life has been a spiral path of wholeness that continues to move through cycles of change taking me through many symbolic death and rebirth experiences, which I refer to as “shamanic portals of transformation.” I have learned more than I ever thought possible through a process I will share with you in my future writings, called the Shamanic Breathwork™ process, and the five initiations process called S.H.I.P. Once I have made sense of the lessons on my path and discovered the bigger picture, I am ready to pass on and share both my stumblings and my leaps along the way. In my own spiritual quest, I have always appreciated most those who shared their struggles and victories in an authentic way. That will be my humble attempt within the context of this blog.

I believe that we are all indigenous to this earth. I respect all my relations, whether they be human, animal, plant, mineral, visible or invisible ones. We are all related by the great web of life and sent here from the great beyond. Everything we say and do touches all parts of this magnificent web of creation. If I treat myself or anyone else unfairly, we are all affected in some way. Fortunately, the converse is true, as well. I am not perfect. If I am honest and have humility, I can admit that I will make mistakes as I seek to further evolve my conscious awareness. I can also make living amends by striving to change my negative thoughts and behaviors, and live from a more open-hearted connection to others and to myself. I have learned over time that all the changes I seek in the outer world must begin by looking within myself first. I have also learned that it is imperative that I have the courage to be honest with myself and to look at the “shadow” side of my personality. When I have had the courage to truly know myself better, the light and the dark, I have found the inner strength to change my life and shape-shift myself into the light of my true soul’s image.

From time to time I will share different programs and events that are being offered through my non profit organization (Venus Rising Institute for Shamanic Healing Arts) in my blog, as well as photos, videos and teachings, etc. But the main purpose of this blog is to provide an outlet to share the inner musings of my shamanic spirit and journey, and to hear yours as well. I look forward to connecting with all of you who intuitively know that you, too, are a valuable part of the shamanic process of conscious co-creation and evolution on the planet at this time. We each have a role to play and a soul purpose in the drama unfolding in our world today. Together we can create a better place for all beings on earth to live and leave a powerful legacy for those who are yet to come.

I believe we will all be remembered by future generations for the choices we make during this time of huge evolutionary change. In the words of the wonderful poem, “Summer Day,” by Mary Oliver, “what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

In Love, In Service, In Gratitude,
Namaste’
Star Wolf
Feb 2nd 2009