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The Illusion of Good & Evil

 & the realisation of Right and Wrong


The concepts of good and evil in ancient times generally came from a simple and pragmatic definition; “I & my people survive and prosper = good; I & my people shrivel and die = bad or evil”.

Shamanic thought recognises energy and spirit as both potential and real.  It is the intent behind an act which determines the ‘value’ of good or evil, normally by a very colloquial standard at best.  In fact, we still use the old definition today, just dressed up in more words and finery.  ‘Evil’ is generally something which destabilises the influence of the powerful within the community and ‘good’ is its polar opposite, lending greater stability and/or influence.

Essentially, we all have within us an innate knowledge of what is right and what is wrong.  A ‘good’ transaction between yourself and another happens when all feel well heard and satisfied with the outcomes; where you would be happy to discuss every aspect of your dealings to all and sundry knowing that ill feelings are unwarranted ,.. this is a good rule of thumb for a positive transaction. 

Even in the most confrontational shamanic dealing like an exorcism, the shaman works towards a good outcome for all involved, even the possessing spirit.  Any shaman works in the understanding that they walk in worlds where compromise and influence and intent play huge roles, where balance is generally desirable and disharmony is less so.

This is an important distinction between real Shamanism and 'Hollywood Shamanism'; one of intent and acceptance.  The Shaman tells us that there is no power needed, that there is nothing to overcome with force, that all is available and possible in and of itself.  There are no whirling lights, no deep music, no ethereal winds whipping about, SFX style.  The Shaman merely introduces a possibility and allows it to happen as it will; the Shaman suggests and coerces possibility into probability, letting temporal distillation and those directly involved do their own exchanges of energy with mere guidance at best.

For temporal distillation to select the most enduringly energetic path, it must hold the most beneficial outcome for all.  A demon is not banished or destroyed (Hollywood again!), a demon's energy is altered, returning stagnant back to a state of motion, resolving probability back into quasi-infinite possibilities.  A sickness is not crushed and fought, it is merely altered to a different rhythm and tune, its energy less stagnant and more mobile once more.

Thinking of good and evil in the shamanic worlds does not work, thinking in terms of assessment of energy and intent is a better thing.  As a matter of fact, this is a great place to leave this discussion with the following thought.

Positive or [the shamanic version of] good is anything where the intent is towards a beneficial and more energetic outcome with respect and kindness to all involved. 




© Craig Berry - 1996 - 2010, All rights reserved - reproduction without written permission prohibited.