Thomas Berry on Shamanism and the Forces of Nature

This quote from Thomas Berry about shamanism is interesting. Our relationships with the forces of nature and the universe are complex, and maybe ultimately unknowable, but the exploration of those relationships is one of the things that continuously fascinates me about shamanic practice.

“Humans in their earlier days knew that they could survive and prosper only by the grace of powers far beyond themselves. Thus the role of the shamanic personalities within the earliest communities, persons who had a special rapport with the powers experienced in the peaceful dawn as well as in the devastating storms and floods that descend over the Earth with such little warning. Although the wild is often experienced in its destructive aspects, it must be understood primarily as the deepest form of creative presence throughout the universe.

The sense of the universe as expressive of a vast, all pervasive, yet highly differentiated power presence finds expression not only in the shamanic figures throughout indigenous societies, it is found also in the creative personalities throughout the world of poets, prophets, rulers, teachers and healers down through the ages. Even creative scientists share profoundly in this shamanic insight.”

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