Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Can Shamans Change the Past?

Recently someone wrote to me, asking for tips, insights, or books that included instructions on changing the past. He had been reading books on mongolian shamanism by Sarangarel, who had said that shamans could change the past. He wanted to know how.

Just in case you are interested, here is what I replied:

I cannot think of a particular book that mentions changing the past, though I do see it mentioned in books sometimes. Certainly we can change our feelings about past events.

Very few people are likely to be able to actually change an event that was witnessed by others. You would be changing their reality, too.

However, I believe that we do not make our own reality, or change it, so much as (if we are successful at our magical work) move ourselves into a different reality.

If you read some of the popular books on particle physics, you find that some of the greatest physicists of the last century believed there are multiple realities. They say that a new reality forms every time you make a decision.

My belief (as described in the novel, The Witch's Dream, by Florinda Donner) is that shamans and other magical adepts can indeed move into different, parallel time streams in which the reality is different, including the past.

The slippery thing about changing the past (or one's feelings about it) is that if you are successful, it seems to have always been that way. So you may not feel that you really did much.

If you read or listen to an account of someone else doing it for himself or herself, you may think it was their imagination. And, of course, it might be.

Personally I sometimes have the feeling that reality has changed, and I remember how it was.

Here is an example:

I have a bronze sculpture near my desk. I bought it in April of 2006. At that time, the sculpture consisted of a sculpture of the Hindu goddess Lakshmi and the god Ganesh, sitting on a swing (like a child's swingset, but ornate).

I'm very familiar with Lakshmi and have several sculptures and pictures of her around the house. So I know how she looks.

Recently, after moving a plant that had partially hidden the sculpture, I noticed that the figure sitting on the swing with Ganesh is now a Buddha. As a Tibetan Buddhist, I know Buddhas. I would not make that mistake.

So what happened? Somehow, I believe reality changed. I certainly did not set out to change the past involving that sculpture.

Maybe some other change I made resulted in the change in the sculpture. Or did it change my memory, so that I now think that I bought a sculpture with Lakshmi in it?

So the subject of changing the past is very tricky, but I believe it can be done.

The thing to remember is that shamanism and other forms of magic are not tricks. When they are effective, it is because we have developed our souls/spirits/minds in such a way as to be able to create the effects we want. Even then we are limited to going with the flow of the Universe.

As an analogy, in a very fast-flowing stream, paddling a canoe downstream, the current, may help you travel faster, but if you are trying to paddle against a very strong current, you probably will not make much progress. It is important to be in harmony with higher goals of the spirit world in choosing your goals.

And just as with any skill or talent, you need to work to develop your abilities. It may not happen immediately. But if you persist in living your life according to your spiritual guidance, with the goal of helping others, you will make progress and your abilities will grow.

If it turns out that changing the past is not relevant to your spiritual purpose after all, you will probably lose interest in it. However, if it is important for you, then you should eventually be able to change the past and to help others change their pasts.

That is my belief. Does it make sense to you?

Since changing the past is not a trick, not a special technique, persisting with your shamanic practice should eventually take you there.

For example, I feel the same way about soul retrieval. When I first read an interview with Sandra Ingermann, I reallized that I could do soul retrieval, but that I was not ready yet. A few months later, I was ready, and I started doing soul retrieval. After that, I took the Foundation for Shamanic Studies soul retrieval course and found that I was right.

Spirit will tell you what you need to know. When you are ready, you will do it if it is truly needed.

The spirit world seems to be pragmatic about such things. You are given what you need, not necessarily what you want.

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