Thursday, September 1, 2016

Notes on Healing: Malidoma Somé—GRIEF, RITUAL, AND SACRIFICE



loss of parents—resulting grief and pain opens a vortex that sucks one in as if to remodel the familiar into something unfamiliar.
must allow oneself to be reborn.
nonlinguistic area of the self—psychic/spiritual part of us undergoes metamorphosis into something perhaps higher or lower, to get one to a new dimension.
loss calls attention to our possessiveness, good or bad/dysfunctional.
when that thing is removed, creates immediate vacuum.

connection between grief and water.
water is element of reconciliation, peace-making, purifier/cleanser.
every loss produces crisis that calls for reconciliation.
how do I reconcile myself with the loss?
“the amount of grieving I’ve done is not adequate to get to the other side.”
a whole lot more needs to be done to get to the other side.
a common/universal state.

water as an opportunity for further shedding—a different kind of grieving.
water as a principle element of our own genesis.
we lived in water in womb sea before birth.
what is it that water can touch in me? to turn moist, and liquefy, and remove from me?
beyond idea of cleanliness, seeking psychic bath.

village shaman in august when rivers are full, takes money into clay jar, walks into water, disappears for several hours, then comes out with clothes dry.

something in the water that is not just about drowning.
maybe this is the other home that we have left that we go to when we enter water.
“water people” to ensure there is peace and reconciliation within community.
also fire clan, earth clan, nature clan, mineral clan.
“the grand deal”/the great purpose inscribed in us before we were born—that we MUST fulfill it, stop at nothing.
we all want and look forward to giving our life to something bigger than us.

sacrifice—the cycle of life and death so ingrained in us such that dying and living intersect.
desire that death is connected with something grand.
exiting this world also means entering another world where a huge welcoming committee is waiting for you.
dagara people hold immense ritual for 3+days when someone dies.
escorts into other world.
the deceased becomes a sacrifice to the greater go.od of the community.

animal sacrifice—hard to explain, not to romanticize african culture.
not devaluing animal.
trees are most advanced beings—a consciousness that supercedes all other beings, wider and bigger—they look still—not going anywhere.
after trees, come animals, and humans are third or last.
the higher the consciousness, the more eager you are to offer yourself to the next layer of consciousness below, in order for it to rise.
lifting otherwise wanderer csns allows self to go further—a contradiction.
sacrifice repairs human mistakes.
no chicken killed just for food, but to repair something not working well—an offering.
sacrificed body is shared with spirit—certain key parts given to shrine of spirit, eg liver and heart—connected to main seat of csns of animal.

fabric of modernity makes it difficult to understand sacred killing.
csns associated with animals is source of inspiration behind mythical stories that sustain communities.
through these stories children are taught community mythology.

in malidoma's culture, those with deformity/infirmity/chronic impairment highly valued and sought after—permanent living shrines.
they need mobility in community as reminder that they are surrounded by something bigger than themselves.
they provide a sense of humility.
thermostat to prevent overheating of one’s grandiosity.
desire to marry disabled person—because you live permanently with the sacred.
a natural attraction.

modernity has ruled out the sacred—we can stare at the otherworldly and not see it—the sacred has been de-sacralized.
cause for grief—getting rid of something most important to us.
very strong excavators needed to go to the places sacred has been buried and dig it out.
simple rituals of honoring trees, plants, offering tobacco etc harness enough power to open a few more eyes to sacred around us.

struggle in day to day life—difficult to build shrine today for ritual tomorrow.
our own conditioning makes us blind to sacred, makes us rigid—we need to stay in the water for a few weeks to soften up!
the inner preparation is a personal duty/assignment.
is it possible for each of us to meet privately and concertedly with the trees and plants with the purpose to excavate the interior of self?
looking for those elements inserted by culture that do not belong to us.
when the time comes, we can then carry that which does not belong to us to water.
then give it to the sacred, because the sacred as a csns will know what to do with it.

we define all offerings as good—but not always true.
the earth can take all trash, water can liquefy filth, plants can take energy away from us to purify.
all are offerings.

think of something grand you want to act on behalf of, someone struggling, think of self as an offering to something bigger than yourself.
become a sacriicial element, there is dignity in giving yourself to something grander.
do not seek perfection in the immediate.
“here I am, I know nothing, but I can show up”—qualifies you to be hired by the spirit to do the impossible.
learn as you go, don’t need to gain expertise first.
eventually you get most of it by the end of your life.

each of us present here may have been woken up by an ancestor and placed on this path to try to do something grand.
the nature of this may not be delineated now—because of difference between conscious and unconscious, and info lost in the middle.
as long as we’re driven by this humble thought, nothing else will matter.
not about another tradition imposing on another—color doesn’t seem to matter eventually in the eyes of spirit, because something else is going on.

very uncivilized to show up for something like this.
nothing lost in suspending disbelief, tho this is probably hardest thing to do.
why should we want to do the easy thing?

before you go to divination, you take ash and go to the shrine of the ancestors with the problem bothering you.
say to ancestors “take this ash and produce a shield, take cowry shell payment, and ingest all” to lead me to the answer.
ancestors will tell the diviner what to tell you.
if you have access to one ancestor, they will share it with others in spirit world.
can resolve many issues this way.
not about us posturing as beggars.
also go to trees to hang out, not just when we have trouble.