Sansaku: Om Mani Padme Hum
“Why do we think the psyche is the interior, something inside? We are immersed in psyche.” This is from David Abrams, who was speaking at the college in ’06. From the way I write, I can’t discern which thought is his and which is mine. They blur together. It’s one of my many academic weaknesses.
The unconscious, said Jung, is out there. Look at the night-time sky, out to sea, the mountains in the distance. Or watch the news and see all the faces from around the world. The unconscious, it’s out there and we’re living in it.
David told stories while he twirled a silver dollar around and through his fingers. It was mesmerizing and he knew how to use it. The dollar dropped at the exact moment, when the outer world in the form of a buzzard, made face-to-face contact with his inner one.
He translated the Om Mani Padme Hum chant as May All Sentient Beings Fall in Love with Each Other.
He traveled in search of magic and healing, and found that the shaman had largely been sold down the river. But those who were truly magic were also exceedingly bizarre.
He explained how they worked with perception as a painter, and the medium was magic. These medicine people didn’t primarily see themselves as healers, even though people treated them this way. They saw their primary role was something different.
They are dwellers at the edge. And it was at this point I could no longer distinguish what was his and what was mine. I’m going to assume for now, it’s mostly his, but it’s a small difference.
These are the ones who can listen to both worlds. Their style of consciousness puts them just outside the boundary. They pay attention to the forest and the trees. The wind speaks to them. Everything is intelligent and alive. It’s the traditional role, he said, of medicine people. They’re the sensitives and empaths.
They can’t help but feel what others feel. This kind of sensitivity isn’t valued by this culture, but earth seems to produce generation after generation of them. Why the marginalization?
Whatever the reason, these people migrate to the edge of things, and their role is to tend the boundary. It’s the boundary and relationship between the human and everything else. We need to keep it open, and must never forget it. It’s place we must return to, and cross again and again.
The medicine people know exactly where to go to experience a certain boundary crossing. And once you’ve crossed and entered, it’s very hard to go back.
He says that many over-sensitives are diagnosed with attentional disorders and don’t fit into the workaday world. They’re organizationally challenged. But these boundary dwellers know how to be true to themselves. And it makes them look odd.
Abrams said not to go to Alaska or the Amazon to find magic, but to bring it into your life as it is. It’s what we need right now.
Think of gravity, he said, it’s one of those weird and wild laws, the attraction of bodies for each other. It’s Eros, and it’s always there. It’s like falling in love, this cosmic pull toward the other.
Magic is the awareness of being inside the inside of being. Feeling contained and attuned, we chant, Om Mani Padme Hum.