Academic versus empiric
I can’t remember where I wrote the other day that it’s not rare for people to accuse me of being too intellectual, or academic in my wanting to understand things these days. It was different when I was younger – then it was much easier for me to understand through emotion. It is somewhat annoying to, as I do these days, want to understand things through a very academic perspective before actually experiencing it.
At the moment, I am specifically thinking about drum journeying. I want to be good at it (don’t ask for whatever reason, since there’s no need to compare myself with anyone else), and to be good at it I tend to believe that I need to read up on it before I get started for real.
So far, I haven’t read too much about it – but from the little I have read, it seems like – quite obviously, people are different. Some people reach that trance mode rather quickly, while others take a little longer before they get there. I also read somewhere that it may take a couple of journeys to sort of; get it. To get into the trance, to actually go someplace, et cetera.
To my dismay, it appears to me as if I am one of these people that takes a little longer to get anywhere. I almost find it insulting that I have to work for it. Knowing that I’ve always had quite the imagination and, actually, ability to visualize, makes me wonder what the hell is wrong with me when it takes me so long to get anywhere in my journey.
Now, in all honesty – I haven’t done that many yet. Mostly for the reason I just wrote about; my wanting to understand it intellectually/academically before actually experiencing it. Maybe that’s the problem – maybe I should just stop thinking about the knowledge and… throw myself into it.
Up to this point I’ve been using drum sessions found on Youtube – works quite well, actually. The ones I’ve used are somewhere between 20 – 30 minutes long, and from what I can tell, it takes me at least ten minutes (at least!), to get anywhere even remotely close to trance and the journey actually begins. It’s easier with a guided journey, but then I get annoyed at the voice guiding me in directions where I don’t want to go. My thoughts keep wandering and I find it hard to focus on the drums.
However; it is quite obvious to me when I am getting closer to the actual journey. I’ve noticed at few occasions that once the smaller muscles in my back, neck and shoulders starts twisting and my breathe becomes uneven – that’s when things start getting interesting.
And by interesting I mean I somewhat loose the connection between body and mind. Not that I don’t feel my body, or cannot move, because I do and I can. I’m not sure I can describe it – yet. I did a journey last night before I went to sleep, and I was introduced to a few more spirit animals. What I find so fascinating is how they presented themselves almost as photographs seen in extremely short flashes of light. I greeted each and everyone of them by saying Oh, hello there.
Something else I believe will work the best for me, is to not be too firm on what I want to do or where I want to go. I read somewhere that is the best way to go, but so far I noticed it works the best for me if I just follow the sound. It’s like following the water when I paint with aqua colour, if that makes any sense. At this point, I think this is the most convenient way of doing it – for me. It will most likely change in time, but for the moment I like to make it as easy for myself as possible.
I think that I should start making these journeys more often than I have, so far. After all, it is the experience I want. Being who I am, I also enjoy and want the academic/intellectual knowledge and understand, but empiric studies is the point of origin for knowledge and understanding of something like shamanism.
Oh, and as a parentheses to my statement of making it as easy for myself as possible… that’s a really silly thing to say, when all I do on this blog is theorizing and making things a lot harder than they have to be. 😀