Postcards from the Shadows

Excerpts from conversations on shamanism with Niteshad

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How do our personal predilections affect us?

First, we need to understand what our personal predilections are.  Each of us is born with certain predilections, that simply means certain ways in which our energy is structured which helps or hinders us in the ways we choose to live our lives.  A shrink might term them tendencies.  Most predilections aren't of much concern.  Whether you will like sweets, or don't care for them; enjoy swimming, or not care for the water at all, are simply basic ways in which we are bent when we're born.  In and of themselves they mean very little, these small likes and dislikes.  They simply go together to help form the individual personality.  There are other predilections, however, that have a great deal to do with whether, in life, you will play certain roles and these roles can literally become your character.  If a child is born with a predilection towards shyness and that is built upon by humiliation in childhood, they become a prisoner of that particular predilection.  All people have "talents" that spring from their personal predilections and they also have weaknesses that spring from the same well of personal energy.

These are the things which lie at the heart of who we are and yet tend to be marshaled out through experience and contact as controlling issues in our lives.  You can't destroy your predilections.  They are who you are, yet you can learn from them for what they represent and use them for your gain instead of loss.  Everyone is different, unique, no two mixes seem to be ever quite the same.  Shamans tend to use their predilections directly, as opposed to living under them.  But of course, no one is perfect  :)  When you find real shamans, you usually find people who are good at a lot of things.  They have learned fluidity and can move from one thing to another emphasizing various predilections or aspects of predilections.  Just as an example, if they recognize they are shy, they can turn and use that to their advantage, twisting it until it makes them seem vulnerable, which might get them consideration in certain situations. This is another aspect of stalking the self, but it is a much deeper use of personal energy than the other things I have described previously.


Perhaps you have a predilection towards self importance, but that is also balanced by a predilection towards shyness.  They all combine.  Ultimately balanced individual beings would be the ideal, but we don't get those too often. I've only mentioned one or two predilections so far, but you need to understand the vast complexity of how we are formed and what internally we represent energetically. Personal predilections combine, come in flavors and affect each other inside an individual, so the combinations and degrees are virtually infinite.  The distinction I really wanted to make was that predilections are not merely a few tendencies grouped together.  They are how we are formed; they relay the texture of our personal makeup.  You can't see that texture and understand it without clarity.

I think some of you are starting to knock on that door to the unknown self  and you should be aware that judgment about the way you are made up isn't appropriate -- it isn't good or bad, it simply is a toss of the dice. You can't change who you are, only rearrange the facets.  I mean who you are in the sense of when you started out.  You must know yourself beyond the basic concept of the name on your mailbox.


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