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Shamanic Wisdom: Basic Laws for Self-Actualization

Shamanic Wisdom: Basic Laws for Self-Actualization Jan Engels-Smith

A sculptor was once asked how he created such marvelous results from the stone he worked. He replied, “If I want to carve an elephant in stone, I simply chip away at the stone that does not look like an elephant.” The artist’s creative process involves finding the inherent qualities of the stone and revealing them to the eye. The challenge is to find the truth within the medium.

The sculptor’s statement is relevant to the process of self-realization as well. In our efforts to discover who we are, we often believe it is necessary to reinvent or alter ourselves into entirely different people. We overlook the inherent truth within ourselves. Becoming yourself is the process of chipping away at that which is not you and discovering the self that has always existed. Becoming yourself is finding the divine self, the work of exquisite art, that the universe embedded in your soul. Becoming you — the true you — is a path to healing and enlightenment.

Finding yourself, however, is not easily achieved. It requires letting go of previously held ideas or states of mind and uncovering the wisdom available in your heart. Western rational thought emphasizes the analytical examination of self through scientific and qualitative means. However, reaching an understanding of self through purely analytical means is as futile as an artist trying to create purely from analysis of form and not from the creative powers of heart and soul. The journey from head to heart results in the integration of the total self: mind, heart, and soul. Your willingness to see possibilities, your commitment to finding yourself, and your energy of effort will do much to make your journey successful.