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Totem Spirits, Domestication, and Our Place in the World

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posted on Jul, 22 2007 @ 08:38 PM
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For quite a long time, I had a difficult time wrapping my mind around this concept. However recently I believe I've answered some of my questions. It is my hope that this thread will provoke further revelation on the subject.

A Totem Spirit is a very common concept in Shamanism and like practices. The basic idea is this. Each person has at least one, and often severla different animal spirits that accompany them and teach them lessons. Each animal possesses vast spiritual wisdom, and usually specializes in a certain type of "medicine" which can roughly be translated as knowledge or power. For example, the Fox is quite talented in camoflauge, staying hidden, becoming one with the enviroment. The Hawk may specialize in seeing above problems, to their greater purpose and lesson.

But, there are many animals that we see that just aren't universally bright. To put it bluntly, they're stupid. Or, are they? Those of you who read my threads regularly are aware that I believe we have suffered a great disconnect from our true nature. Have animals also lost their way?

I am becoming more and more convinced that animals also experienced a certain degree of a "Fall."

Their ideal form, the "Totem" I believe they have suffered a spiritual disconnect from. While animals in the wild still retain a great deal more awareness and insticnt than modern human beings, they are a long way from their Godlike spiritual potential.

Domesticated Animals are even worse off than us. We capture them, and impose certain programing upon them, further dulling their natural senses so that they become even more accustomed to this unnatural way of life. Domesticated animals are even further from their spiritual potential, for we are imposing our wills upon them, and increasing the gap between the self and their true nature. Making them even more unconcious, as we are.

I also believe that as species die off physically, their spiritual counterpart develops a new physical avatar so to speak, and a new, different beast comes to embody such wisdom.

Animals in the wild have far greater natural senses than we do. Ours have dulled over millenia of seeking comfort, rather than living in tune with nature. Animals evolve, grow thicker fur in order to live in cold climates. Humans however, do not evolve physically, they use a tool, wear a jacket, build a means of staying cool.

Animals in the wild, unlike us, do not try to control each other, manipulate one another. They use what nature provides and develop skills and abilities that will allow them to survive. In this sense, they are more in tune with nature than we are. Animals do not kill each other over religious differences, or have bouts of depression, struggling for happiness. They simply live. In this sense, they are in a more spiritual, in-tune state than we, the "thinking craetures" of this planet.

However, when we domesticate a species, or a family of animals, they begin to lose their natural instincts, depend on us for survival. These creatures then become even more disconnected from their true ideal selves. Their spiritual nature becomes even more distant.

Now, plants, I feel are even more spiritually in-tune than animals. They have faith that nature will provide. Even when we demoesticate them, they maintaian the same attitude. Nature will provide, and if it doesn't they have the strength and knowledge to endure. We can only hurt them so much before they die, and take on a new form. They have even less fear of death than animals. With rocks and elementals, and all the rest, these are the most intune with nature. I do not feel that they have experienced a fall. I believe plants, rocks, and others exist mostly in the spiritual realms, whereas, their physical avatar simply changes forms. We can break a rock, put out a fire, divide a river. But they are basically immovable, immune to our influence. They powerfully fulfill their role, and their form changes.

We can learn a lot from a rock. A few years ago I would have laughed at this as utterly pitiful. But the more my mind expands, I begin to accept more. A rock has no fear of us. No fear of death. It's form can change, but it is not insecure. It does not long for home, or food. The rock is not attached to it's existance as a rock. It simply helps to make up the world that we exist on. It fulfills it's duty flawlessly.

What could be more intune with nature than a rock? It makes up nature!

How about a plant? A plant simply moves towards nourishment. It takes from nature, and it gives. It exists in harmony with nature.

Look at animals, they don't need excess. They take what is nessicery. They evolve to survive. They dont' need things to survive. They don't fear death, or need things to be happy. Domestic animals may long for a pat on the head or a treat, but that is simply our insecurity projected onto the creature.

Now, look at us, the single most insecure entities on earth., yet supposedly the most evolved. Those of us who have the most, need even more to be happy and content. If the power goes out for a few minutes, or if traffic is heavier than expected, or if we trip walking up the stairs, or if the coffee is cold, or if we miss our favorite program, our whole day could be ruined. We certainly need a lot to be happy anymore. We are constantly awaiting happiness. A thing that will never come. We look outside for fulfillment instead of inside.

We should take a lesson from a rock, and stop being such children.

Take a lesson from the bear who doesn't need heat to sleep in the cold.

We are so content in our superiority. This world is ours, yet we constantly destroy it. But the worst thing is, that we know better, but don't care. An animal only need learn a lesson once, but it seems, even though history repeats, we, the most evolved creatures on this planet still have not yet learned.

Perhaps if we lose all of our precious technology and power we may remember our place in this world, not as it's rulers, but it's caretakers. What will it take for us to finally learn? Or will we have to be purged from the land?

Only time will tell.

But until we wake up.

Don't be so proud to be a human being.




posted on Jul, 23 2007 @ 11:15 AM
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I think you're way off track....animals were never "smart" and they don't posses any kind of "power".If it was like that,humans could find a way 2 really comunicate...
Also,the shamans believed in the power of the rocks and signs from gods...In my opinion the humanity is going down from this time(see idiocracy)....'till now we've become more open-minded,but without any natural predators,we'll become something i don't even want 2 think at....and the bad thing is that we can't do nothing about it



posted on Jul, 23 2007 @ 11:18 AM
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To those of you who consider this crude paganism, I would advise you that even the Bible tells people to imitate birds, lilies, and other creatures.



posted on Jul, 23 2007 @ 12:19 PM
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I'm from England and as you would expect I dont have much emphasis of animals as teachers, guides etc. however I was lucky enough to have experienced something out of the ordinary. Before I changed my university course I studied Social Anthropology and one of the course was "Animals and People" and in that course one week we did a Peruvian drum ceremony to attempt to determine our totem spirit. I could have gone in scepitcal as usual, but I decided to not think about the improbability etc. and just accepted it. It worked!!

You could just call it your mnd seeing what you want to see, but I managed to find my "totem animal" and I was very happy with it. Im not sure what its there for, but I', glad I got to experience something which brought me closer psychologically or physically depending on what you believe to nature.



posted on Jul, 24 2007 @ 04:09 AM
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Generally speaking I like most animals, and nature. As to an animal spirit, well on some sense I am sure I have one as most people probably do. You can believe in the spirit of animals or not that is up to the individual. I will leave weather or not I do have one to my spirit and sub conches, however this does make me thing of The Golden Compass. It is a soon to be released movie, but the book is by Philp Pulman. Published as a set of three books titled His Dark Materials. I would suggest any who wants to know more about animal spirits read it.



posted on Jul, 24 2007 @ 04:17 AM
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How would you go about identifying/finding your totem spirit?



posted on Jul, 24 2007 @ 06:31 AM
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Originally posted by johnb
How would you go about identifying/finding your totem spirit?


Using your friend GOOGLE helps.


Click that link and there's some search results. Enjoy.



posted on Jul, 24 2007 @ 08:10 AM
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Originally posted by RedGolem
Generally speaking I like most animals, and nature. As to an animal spirit, well on some sense I am sure I have one as most people probably do. You can believe in the spirit of animals or not that is up to the individual. I will leave weather or not I do have one to my spirit and sub conches, however this does make me thing of The Golden Compass. It is a soon to be released movie, but the book is by Philp Pulman. Published as a set of three books titled His Dark Materials. I would suggest any who wants to know more about animal spirits read it.


The person who said animals aren't smart is WAY off track. I work with birds of prey, and I can tell you they're smart. I can tell you that birds, in general, are smart, along with many other creatures.

The people who say animals lack any intelligence at all obviously haven't observed them enough. If animals have no smarts, then why do crows, magpies, and other corvids mourn the loss of a loved one? Why can they figure out how to make tools and use them? It's not because they're stupid.

I believe myself to be an animal spirit. For me, it's a past life connection - I have memories from a life apart from this one. Can't prove it, but... they're there, and that's what I feel them to be.



posted on Jul, 24 2007 @ 08:30 AM
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Originally posted by johnb
How would you go about identifying/finding your totem spirit?


There are many different ways, depending on where you learn it. With me it was a drum ceremony in which the drums beat out a repititve rhythm and you began the "journey" yourself by imagining a hole in the ground somewhere you have seen before (i.e. a cave or under a tree etc.) and you entered it and you went down into the ground and if it worked (or if you didnt dismiss it from the start). For me I was taken into a forest and i saw lots of different animals, however my totem animal, there was something different. At first it was just glimpses in my peripheral vision, but i eventually saw it ahead of me. I felt i like i was supposed to ask it a question but i never got round to it, before the ceremony ended.

Im not religious in the way the ceremony is, I just let myself accept the possibility of a totem spirit at the time and so my mind created one ^^.



posted on Jul, 24 2007 @ 11:23 AM
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Originally posted by MinHawk


The person who said animals aren't smart is WAY off track. I work with birds of prey, and I can tell you they're smart. I can tell you that birds, in general, are smart, along with many other creatures.


MinHawk
I assure you I won't try to say animals are not smart. I have not worked with them the way you have but I just like animals. To me I just see way to much personality in animals not to think they don't have some smarts to them. Yes I have seen dumb ones also, but just also seen a lot of smart and caring ones.



posted on Jul, 24 2007 @ 05:01 PM
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RG, yeah, all it takes is observation. If you just sit and watch the animals around you, whether they're pets, or wild animals, you can see that many of them are intelligent. Some are mind-blowingly so.

And I just remembered something else I wanted to say. That person also mentioned communication. Animals cannot "talk" like humans do. They lack the vocal abilities to make the same sounds we do, and so they cannot talk in that way. Physically, they have body language, along with their own sounds, that they make. It's hard for an animal and a human to communicate with these limitations, because it takes a lot of observation on both parts for the two beings to understand each other. One can mentally talk to animals, though. Most just don't believe you can. That's another odd thing about me. I can do this.

But, RG, it's nice to know there's another one here who feels the same way and isn't going to go off jabbering about how stupid animals are. Truth is, IMHO, humans can be even more stupid, sometimes.



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