To All My Brothers and Sisters
This began as a message to my Christian brothers and sisters, and therefore the first thing I would like to say is that I am a Christian, I have my Holy Baptism Certificate dated 11th December 1960 to prove it. At the end of this certificate it says: “Endure unto the end. S. Matt. xxiv”, and I can assure you all that I most certainly will do that. I am also a Shaman, whether I or anyone else likes it or not.
I know that to most of my Christian brothers and sisters the word of God and Jesus, which the Bible is supposed to represent, is the absolute law, the will of God, however there are many different Bibles with slightly different words. My main message is not to look at the differences, but to look at the uniting similarities. And I believe this would be Jesus’ message also, especially when you consider the one gospel that is not in any of the many bibles.
The Gnostic Gospel according to Thomas, which was dug up in Egypt, about 40-50 years ago, says pretty much the same as all the other gospels, but it adds extra information. For example: when in all the other gospels Jesus sung a song before going to his death, in the Thomas gospel the words to that song are given. Here are some more very important facts that Joseph Campbell has said about Thomas’ gospel:
“ ‘When will the kingdom come?’ Christ’s disciples ask.” In Mark 13 I think it is, we read that the end of the world is about to come. That is to say, a mythological image – that of the end of the world – is there taken as predicting an actual, physical, historical fact to be. But in Thomas’ version, Jesus replies: “The kingdom of the Father will not come by expectation. The kingdom of the Father is spread upon the earth and men do not see It.” – So I look at you now in that sense, and the radiance of the presence of the divine is known to me through you…
According to the “normal” Christian religion, to say as Jesus said, that “I and the Father are one”, or that “I am a channel for God or Jesus” is blasphemy for us. But the following quote of Joseph Campbell’s from the Thomas gospel shows us that this is the very essence of Buddhism and Christian Gnosticism.
When Jesus says, “He who drinks from my mouth [meaning he who lives by my word or teachings Ed.] will become as I am and I shall be he,” he’s talking from the point of view of that being of beings, which we call the Christ, who is the being of all of us. Anyone who lives in relation to that is as Christ. Anyone who brings into his life the message of the word is equivalent to Jesus, that’s the sense of that. [And Jesus was a shaman.]
We are all manifestations of Christ consciousness or Buddha consciousness, only some don’t know it. According to Joseph Campbell the word Buddha means “the one who waked up”, which is what we all need to do.
Even outside of Christianity there are many different factions; there are a number of different forms and teachings of Buddhism; there are many different Medicine Wheels within the Native Americans’ traditional understandings and teachings; and there are many different groups and publications saying different things about different spiritual understandings. But they all understand that there is one universally, uniting force that is beyond, and yet also within, everything. As a result, this force must be personified so that we FEEL and KNOW this force within, but we must always be open to that impersonal aspect of this personified ‘God’, which the Native Americans refer to as the Great Mystery, because it is never to be known by anyone. These uniting similarities are what we all need to concentrate on. This is where prayer, which is speaking to God; meditation, which is listening to God; and affirmations can help. But as always it must be done your own way, even if shamans, teachers and priests may be able to help you get started.
It is my experience that the prayers, rituals, teachings and ceremonies of the Native Americans make it much easier and simpler to know and commune with God, and therefore to have an idea of the will of God, which I feel is basically to compassionately love, respect and honour ALL other beings of the universe, including the four elements or directions (earth).
When I say, ”it is my experience” I understand that everyone has their own experience, and that experience can be influenced by belief, which is often handed down as dogma. And I can only speak of my experience as best I can, for no language can truly express anything of the impersonal aspect of God, which is never to be known, and yet is experienced, but can’t be fully communicated. This is why I teach mainly Native American teachings, rituals, ceremonies, and prayers (which are always flexible in wording, as they must be your own).
Having said all that I still find it very disappointing to see that so many of my two-legged brothers and sisters spend so much of their time and consciousness being influenced by fears, desires and social duties. Now I know how Black Elk felt near the end of his life when he said that it makes him cry to see that in this modern time when so many people are scrambling for the ball, which symbolises God in the traditional ceremony of ‘The Throwing of the Ball’, there are some who are not even trying to catch it.
I know that it is as important to be physical as it is to be spiritual, but none should be mutually exclusive, they both need to be held in balance with our consciousness, which needs to be balanced between our higher consciousness (spirit, soul, personal God etc.) and our lower consciousness (cellular memory, subconscious, habits etc).