The Madman and the Shaman

Illustration by Arthur Rackham

The difference between a madman and a shaman is that a shaman comes back, they gain something and use the tools they have learnt to heal others through their own survival guide. ~ DiosRaw

I would like to address these terms as archetypes. The Madman representing the narcissist, the person in denial, the person who wishes to live with their head in the sand. The Shaman representing the teacher, the master, the healer. The madman stays complacent and will never change. The shaman forever grows but also gives back to the community.

Just yesterday, my client was asking me “How can they [the narcissist] see things that I can see but they don’t learn anything?” It is a question I have asked myself a million times when I have dealt with a narcissist (or a person in denial) in life. This would be similar to looking up at the stars and not noticing how beautiful the night is. It would be similar to seeing a deer in your back yard and not wondering why it chose your yard and no other. A person who looks at a forest but is annoyed for it blocks the sun. A suburban person killing a wild animal for getting lost and having no place to go (especially in a new development, that has eliminated their habitat).

Each day we are giving new opportunities to grow. We make mistakes over and over again. The madman pushes them away and blames someone else. They end up being served the same lessons over and over and over again. Yet, they continue to see the mistake as being the other persons fault and refuse to take responsibility for how it occurred. For their own role in the matter. They live a life with a mask on. The eyes look out upon the world but see nothing. Their body is rigid with control or force. Trying to manipulate people into doing their bidding. Their mind stays unnourished and never blossoms. Like the movie “Groundhog Day,” each day is repeated, over and over again for the rest of their life.

The shaman grows from these mistakes. The shaman looks at these lessons as blessings that provide pain but also comfort. They explore the pain, knowing that at some point they will heal from this, and at that time, will be stronger and wiser. The comfort is the realization that this will pass one day, once they rise above the struggle. While they may not love the obstacle and would not wish it upon others, they understand it is there for a reason. Once they have embarked on this journey and have come to the destination, they give it back to others. Like with Jesus on the cross, he acknowledges that the nails hurt but willingly sacrifices himself for others. This is the shaman, a person living with “Christ” Consciousness.

The shaman can be the psychotherapist, the naturopath, the holistic practitioner, the massage therapist, the chiropractor, the professor, the spiritual teacher, many many titles can come from this archetype. At the same time, people may have these titles and yet be the madman instead. The madman can be anyone. You must trust your instinct and stay mindful of the choices you make. You can be the shaman.

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