A seminar weekend has come to an end. I have given the participants everything I could and they have all gone home, mostly happy. Almost all of them. As I take my bag to the car, I meet Claudia. We start talking and I learn that she had been skeptical about the event in the beginning. „Shamanism“ is already such a hackneyed term that one really doesn’t know what to expect from such a so-called „shaman“. I agree with her. Her words hit my feelings exactly and I tell her that I basically don’t use the term. Only in this training series, which was about „shamanism“ this weekend, I had no choice but to use it. The word shamanism is in our latitudes predominantly only a label, which fell victim to the complete arbitrariness of the lifestyle and was completely devalued of its sense. Like so many important terms. We talk a little more and then say goodbye cordially. On the way back in the car I am in a bad mood. A diffuse feeling and I try to explore the reasons for it in detail. All of a sudden I have to think of a book. A friend of my wife’s once pulled it from his shelf and said to her, „Surely that would be something for your husband.“ He had only seen me twice at that point. The book had pink, plush flocked covers and a completely bonkers title that I won’t repeat here. My wife handed it to me and I put it far away at first because of the layout and title. I had the feeling that I would never want to read it. Then one day I had the feeling that I had to examine it at least once. I didn’t have a good feeling, but there had to be a reason why this book was now with me. I took a closer look at the cover. „Science“ was written on the top. Hmm. Three authors. Uh-huh. I opened it. Preface: „Prof. Dr. Müller, Dr. Dr. Meier and Prof. Dr. Dr. Schneider, all renowned physicists and nuclear scientists, explain physical phenomena of nature in relation to man.“ Aha. Well, that was really something for me. Physicists explaining the world to me…. The question mark above my head grew. I continued to turn the pages. Introduction. Headline: „Probably the hottest boy group in science: Prof. Dr. Müller, Dr. Dr. …. etc.“ It really said so. Untrue. In my mind’s eye, the image arose of three men in white coats who have always been more concerned with mathematical equations than with people, and whose liberation from their youth and university traumas lies in the fact that they can now finally call themselves a boy band – with all the wet boy fantasies that go with it. – So so… I keep turning the pages. There are countless more pre-chapters (I skim over them) before the actual content – the explanation of the world – finally begins. I am moderately excited. It is rather a malaise. Confronting the hard material view of scientists – especially when they also want to be nice and funny – often hurts me physically and mentally. I actually have the urge to put this book down again and not read any further. Nothing good could be found in it. Too late. Now, at the beginning of the chapter, the reader was asked which of three animals to choose from he would like to be. The gradation of these animals was from large to small. Surely I would rather be the large animal, it is insinuated to me by the boy group. Because it is so: Sports cars, ice hockey clubs and chiefs were always called like big and strong animals. And also the shaman calls, if he needs the assistance of his protection spirits, the wolf or the bear and not the ant or the threadworm. – I felt helpless anger rising in me. At that moment I had the impulse to throw the book through the closed window with gathered strength. All the prejudices and bad feelings about this book came true already in the first five lines. I was suddenly full of rage at the authors and their presumption to talk about things they know nothing about and at their arrogance in which they believe they can judge everything with their science and yet can only see and recognize everything through their one-sided filter. And on the fact that they write down these mind-filtered „realizations“ also still and in this amusing (or amused? – „Ma red` ja nur.“ one says in Bavaria) kind to the reader unterjubeln. The fact that these physicists attributed the same motives to the invoker of psychic forces (which can also be an ant or a grain of sand or a small pebble or the pile of my dog) as an advertising expert has when he thinks up a manipulative name for a car, to lure buyers with an illusion or as an oil magnate has when he has bought an ice hockey team and now chooses a more martial name than the competition to make an impression on fans and be superior in name alone, outraged me deeply. Good grief, couldn’t they have just left the Shaman – and maybe the Chief – out of it? After all, if they don’t know anything about God and the nature of divine power, then they should please be modest and hold back. – But modesty and restraint is not so the thing of the mind. He is never of the opinion that there could be something about which he would not know. Everything in my interpretation sovereignty! Be it still so one-dimensional, simple and ignorant and limited.
I was still angry the next day. The anger had subsided and become clearer. And so I came to the real core of the feeling: The question I asked myself was why these three physicists with their plush book and their adolescent impact could upset me so much. I asked myself: did it matter how they rolled the world flat and to rights with their science steamroller? I realized for myself: Yes, it was important! Because exactly with this steamroller people are driven the whole day through their head, because what was the core statement which comes to light behind this apparently playful representation of an (apparent) phenomenon? The core message is the following: Mental acting is just as stale as mind acting. Mental acting is just the usual ego-centered and manipulative window-dressing with which one wants to trickily exaggerate oneself or undermine others. It is nothing real. It is the same as material acting too. Yes, it is material action. The unspoken corollary: there are no soulish actions. Everything you see in the direction is also only the vain dance of the mind! The shaman, the advertising man, the hockey club. All submit themselves to the laws of the mind – With it the people are then left alone. The pubescent scientists go back into their ivory tower to their beautiful numbers and the human being stands alone there, with this representation of the world, in which everything is to be only material lie and deception. In which everything leads only to death and he should see how he gets there best tricky and full of self-deception. A representation, irresponsibly and amusingly (amused?) presented by the high priests of our society, those who are believed: The scientists. Who call themselves a boy band…. Anyone who has ever read the lyrics of boy band songs will recognize the irony of the matter.
That’s what made me so angry. It is what I am confronted with every day. In so many heads sits unconsciously this attitude planted subliminally by such boy groups (I like the term better and better). Mental acting is probably also only material acting. One „does“ sometimes this and one „does“ sometimes that. Maybe it helps. Maybe not. It’s all ballyhoo and pretty words anyway. Exactly such a stale crap, like in the advertisement, politics and everywhere generally. But you have to do something… What else can you do… Shaman, Yin, Yang, energy, yoga, radiation, angels, power animals, soul, bla, bla, bla. I can’t hear it anymore. Exactly the same stuff as the advertisement on television. Nothing is real. Everything is lies and deception. Then I rather take the bear than the ant. It’s better for my ego. There is nothing more than ego.
That’s why I was in a bad mood after my conversation with Claudia. That’s why I remembered the book in question: The participants went home in a good mood that evening. But how many of them have the steamroller in their heads that will flatten all the spiritual experience of this weekend into a purely intellectual event? To something arbitrary, consumable. To a pastime that is nothing else than everything else. The steamroller that turns a unique experience of closeness to God, which we miss so much, into a product that is forgotten again after a short time (you can book it again next summer). Because the special and unique – the redeeming – about it must not exist for the steamroller?
Every time I look out the window, I see the same thing the boy band sees. All right! It is the physical and material phenomenon that my five senses perceive. All right! But that’s just not all. I perceive with the soul sense the rest. The eternal, infinite and the unity. Is that also all right for the boy groups? I see the appearance. The car that must be called Mustang so that man can buy the illusion of freedom and power. All right, boy band? You yourselves say that appearance is the reason for this choice of name.
I see the truthfulness beyond the appearance. This is invisible for the five senses in everything what exists. Whether big or small. But this truthfulness becomes visible in the action of the person turned to God, in his simplicity and readiness to put his ego behind. Or in the said shaman. Who does not de-fi-ni-tively value the power of the bear more than that of the ant. Who knows that such a thing would mean to succumb to the outer appearance and not to understand the essence of the world, in which the outer appearance is meaningless. The truthfulness in everything is not accessible to the mind, because it cannot use the soul sense. The truthfulness in people – the earthly expression of this truthfulness in individuals – is accessible to him through his five senses.
We see the result of this blindness for the truthfulness behind the appearance in our boy group: The truthful one is marginalized, used for amusement and lumped together with anti-social marketing people and belligerent big industrialists or club founders. In the best case, the shaman is someone who prefers to fool himself (and others, of course) with a bear rather than with an ant. Someone who also does not get beyond the material view. Because there is no other way. There is only the appearance. And I shiver at the thought of this self-proclaimed boy group. Because the mind alone is dangerous enough. The mind with the maturity of a child in the body and with the power of an adult rolls everything flat…. And these high priests favor the mind, the matter, the physics and their childish mind. Quite openly and without shame… It is charming nowadays to be a little childish. The responsibility for word and deed is less. You give up the annoying. And if you don’t get what you want, then you let it bang. Unthinking in the manner of a child. And you don’t have to take the world so seriously either and write a funny pink plush book…. You see. I’m still a little angry. Because I would have liked the word „shamanism“ – as one term of so many – to have remained clear. That it would have kept its meaning and therefore its power. That it would not have become a lifestyle term. That it would not have become something arbitrary. A label that anyone can pin to their lapel. Be it only to earn money with it or to elevate oneself. And I would have wished that Claudia could have gone to the weekend event without skepticism. Without the uneasy feeling that everything is just the same sham as everything else. With the knowledge that something special would be waiting for her there. Simply because appearance and truthfulness are still distinguishable and the steamroller has not yet flattened everything it gets under its rollers.