“In the beginning was magic”. Not poetry, not religion, not literature, not science, not philosophy. All the knowledge, all the wisdom of the human being was enclosed in one, unique animistic doctrine: shamanism. The earth and the stars were at the same level, and they could touch each other. Men and women all over the world, through a complex system of believes, were looking for the keys to decipher the existence.
It was a totally different world from the one in which we live now. Gods existed, for people really believed in them. They associated them with natural events, they communicated with them with rituals and prayers, and by doing so they make them real, true spiritual forces that were able to influence the human communities.
The communication with the gods or, better said, the connection with the spiritual world and the interpretation of it, was once handled by the shamans, people who had a deep connection with Nature and were able to use its energies for different task such us divination and healing.
The ability of the shamans to connect with the Soul of the World and, in some case, to heal and predict the future; their capacity of reaching altered states of consciousness in order to perceive and interact with the occult world and channels; and their deep investigations into the human soul through the creation of myths and rites; and, last but not least, their knowledge of the events of the natural world and of the movements of the stars made the shamanism the ancestor of psychology, religion, sciences such as medicine, astronomy, chemistry, physics and disciplines such as yoga and reiki.
Shamanism was also the ancestor of modern magic, the so called “high magic”. The difference is essentially the application of the knowledge provided by the two disciplines: the shamans were community leaders who tends to use the knowledge acquired to improve the life conditions of their people; the magicians, on the contrary, are human beings with the aim is to find their own divine nature, developing, realizing and living it.
The whole “social aspect” that was present into the shamanism, in the modern era, was acquired by the modern empirical disciplines, while modern magic inherited from the shamanism the purpose to reach the self-realization (also known as “gnosis” or “enlightenment”).
The quest for the self-realization is something intrinsic in human nature. Every man and every woman during their life walk through a path that is designed by the events, circumstances and people that surround them. What is around them influences them, but at the same time they can influence it as well. It is up to us if we want to influence the world in which we live or just be a spectator of the show. This notion was very well known by the ancient shamans and it derived in the creation of a basic principle of magic: the conscious control over our real self and desires, and the ability to perform actions coherent with our true will and intended to make our dreams come true, are not just ‘a’ power, but all power that exists.
“Magic is everywhere. It is around these dunes, in the sunlight, and in the sky. And it is also inside you”.
— Balthasar, Pipi and the Midnight Express
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