-Of Earthkeepers and Shamans

blog-03-01-17-2Throughout the ages, secret societies of Native American medicine men and women carefully guarded their ancient wisdom teachings and acted as stewards of nature. These “Earthkeepers” existed in many nations and were called by many names; in the Andes and the Amazon, they are known as the Laika or shamans.

Their shamanic teachings, known as the Four Insights, were closely guarded. With the arrival of the conquistadors, the Laika were relentlessly persecuted. Many, particularly the women, were branded witches and sorcerers, then imprisoned, tortured, and killed. Their knowledge was considered so dangerous and threatening to the Catholic Church that even 200 years after the Spanish Inquisition shut its doors everywhere else in the world, it continued to keep active an office in Lima, Peru.

Earthkeepers teach us how to rewrite our stories about our lives, to do what the shamans call “dreaming the world into being.” The Laika realized that this knowledge is tremendously powerful, and could be easily abused by those lacking ethics. With time, however, they recognized that the Four Insights belong to all, not just to the Inka. When they met a white person who did not possess the arrogant, hostile mindset of the conqueror, these Earthkeepers were willing to share their wisdom teachings.

Like the Australian Aborigines, the Earthkeepers live in an environment where the dreamtime has not been pushed into the domain of sleep like it has for the rest of us. They know that all of creation arises from, and returns to, this creative matrix. The dreamtime infuses all matter and energy, connecting every creature, every rock, every star, and every ray of light or bit of cosmic dust.

The power to dream, then, is the power to participate in creation itself. Dreaming reality is not only an ability but a duty, one all humans must perform with grace so that our grandchildren will inherit a world where they can live in peace and abundance.

The Earthkeepers I have studied with in the Andes and the Amazon believe that we can only access the power of this force by raising our level of consciousness. When we do, we become aware that we’re like a drop of water in a vast, divine ocean, distinct yet immersed in something much larger than ourselves.

It’s only when we experience our connection to infinity that we’re able to dream powerfully. In fact, it’s our sense of separation from infinity that traps us in a nightmare in the first place. If this sounds like circular thinking, you’re right. Which came first, the nightmare or the sense of separation from infinity? The answer is that they occur simultaneously.

To end the nightmare — to reclaim our power of dreaming reality and craft something better — you need more than the recognition of how this process works. You need to have a visceral understanding of your dreaming power and experience it in every cell of your body. The intellectual comprehension of your ability to create reality mimics but then forestalls the kind of dreaming you’re capable of. If you don’t get beyond mere intellectual comprehension of this concept, you’ll end up lowering the bar and creating a far less glorious and beautiful experience of the world than what you’re capable of crafting. With a visceral understanding of your power to dream, you realize that you can share this experience of infinity right here, right now, and stop feeling dissociated and disconnected.

Once you experience dreaming, you realize that everything in your life is unfolding with perfect synchronicity. You discover that your problems are no longer overwhelming you or defining your life. You always have the choice to create a heroic account about your relationship to them instead of a disempowering saga of suffering.

Learn more in my book, Courageous Dreaming.