What is a shaman – We all need to be shamans

The modern world tears us from the ability to be beings, we are objects of its machinery of mass destruction. The primordial difference between the modern occidental paradigm (that is collapsing because of its own decadent nature) and the native and ancestral paradigm (that is our future, since it’s the principle of life) is the dichotomic premise of object-subject. In the ideal of the modern human (that doesn’t really merit the title of “human”) everything that exists is simply an object. He lives in an objective and material universe, where everything that exists is an object of his hedonist desire; and he treats reality as an inanimate vehicle (object) that serves him only to satisfy his necessities, which are not vital, for the most part, they are just vices that he requires to take him outside of reality (that is not objective by nature). For this being, subjectivity, his feelings, emotions, dreams, are for the least, distractions of lesser importance.

Meanwhile, for the non-modern human being (thy who is truly human) reality is what he/she perceives, that feels, listens and through this subjectivity he relates to other beings, he lives and is part of the web of life. He doesn’t have a specific objective, rather, he is subject to the need of others, those with whom he coexists. For this being nothing is an object, not his home, not his musical instrument, not life, not his mother, not the earth. We have to understand the difference between these two paradigms, the fact that what is an object for one, is a being (subject) for the other. For example a mountain. Did you know you can speak to her?

Speak to a mountain? to your house? that’s a thing for fools, or for shamans. The modern world has generalised the idea that a shaman is a person with special abilities to speak with inanimate and invisible objects and spirits. So basically, it’s a person that relates with other non-humans as beings. In this sense, all natives that practice their spirituality and worldview, are shamans. It’s not a supposition. I remember once asking for a Yatiri (wise man or shaman in Aymara) in a community in lake Titicaca. The lady I was asking responded to me: —to me, all the men you see around, are Yatiris. They all do rituals and have relations with mother earth according to their spirituality.

So in reality, we are all part of the web of life and relate to other beings on the earth and in the universe, without it mattering if we have been educated to believe in them and recognise them as living beings. We have been educated in a very materialistic and objective way, and to perceive reality in that manner (to not be shamans), so we can then be useful parts of the system (of dominance). But in reality, it is life itself and the many beings in it that summon us in an unprecedented milestone in history to recuperate life, the capacity to be alive and to be living beings; and this means awakening from the modern illusion of death and destruction and to begin perceiving the universe as it really is: a fabric of human and non-human beings that are interrelated in an inseparable way.

But if all natives are shamans, then why are there different names and appellations for persons that have the role of a shaman? Is he/she the shaman of shamans? Quite so, a person is elected in a community to represent and carry out ceremonies and the dialogues that are carried out in the sacred languages with the other non-human beings that are summoned. A person is chosen to carry out different activities or to heal the sick, but this doesn’t mean that everyone else is lacking these capabilities. The modern world, as it deprives us from the expertise of being humans, of being beings, it then makes these skills dormant so that we are temporarily incapacitated to perceive the word in its full nature.

We all need to be shamans, because we all need to recover our innate human skills in order to escape the modern world of pain, war, dominance, ecocide, genocide and suffering and transform it into a world of thriving life and happiness. We are in a different time, a time when we shall all become shamans.

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