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Welcome to the Way of the Adventurer.
by Serge Kahili King

(excerpt from my book, Urban Shaman)

The word "SHAMAN", from the Russian/Tungusic language, is used quite arbitrarily to designate people with a particular view on life. These people continue to play a unique role in nearly every culture on Earth. Shamans are not like magicians, sorcerers, tribal priests, healers or psychics, although a shaman may play the role of any or all of these.

The three main distinguishing features of the shaman are, the use of altered states of consciousness, influencing events for social benefit and the accumulation of inner power. The shaman is essentially an active healer seeking to increase harmony in whatever situation he is in. He is a healer of relationships and there are two main paths to the inner power that he uses.

The most widely known and practised is the "Way of the Warrior", characterised by an emphasis on danger, the development of hyper-alertness, an ascetic and harsh self-discipline, the destruction of enemies and cultivation of allies and an ethic of conquer or be conquered. This is the way followed by the majority of North American Indian shamans and it is a good way because the intent is good.

In the islands of the Pacific however, there arose another path. Out of Polynesian culture there comes the "Way of the Adventurer". This path emphasises the seeking of adventure, the development of hyper-awareness and a goal oriented self-discipline, the cultivation of friends and unity and an ethic of love and be loved. It is not a "better" way as both have healing as their broad social purpose and both can lead to the same realms of high personal development, but it is a different way, and the differences may have profound social and personal effects.

The typical ideal for a warrior is to act impeccably, that is without error, and there is a great emphasis on developing and maintaining the strength to protect oneself and others from enemies and danger. Because of the outlook itself, both become necessary. On the other hand, the typical ideal for the adventurer is to act appropriately, or in such a way as to get the best result in a given situation, and the emphasis is on fun, enjoyment and creating peace.

The most common viewpoint in modern times is that the world is a dangerous place. There is danger of death and disease, failure and rejection, tyranny and annihilation. The Warrior builds his world upon this viewpoint and includes more dangers from unseen forces such as evil or chaotic spirits. He seeks to increase his own power to the point where he is unconquerable by man or spirit and to where he can help others and protect them from danger. The great appeal of the Warrior Way is that it continues from where the common viewpoint leaves off. Yes, the world is a dangerous place, but I can obtain the power to overcome it. Yet that leap from powerlessness to power is too great for many who not only feel powerless, but fear power.

The Adventurer viewpoint does not even accept the first premise. It acknowledges that there are some dangers in the world, but not that it is a dangerous place. Instead it is an exciting place, full of opportunity to make it what you will. The fundamental premise of the Adventurer Way is that we are the makers of our own world, and all dangers, indeed all pleasures and all experience, are self generated. The adventurer seeks power to create and change experience and to help others to do the same.

This is a hard viewpoint to handle in a society brought up on objective experience because it gives us the ultimate power over our own lives. For many, this is more devastatingly fearful than the more objective power of the warrior. It is a hard viewpoint to maintain in an objectively oriented society, but for those who are able it is immensely rewarding, for no matter how much evil there is in the world, it is still not an evil world, and no matter how much evil there is in the world, it can all be changed to good by right belief.

Extracted from Urban Shaman by Serge Kahili King
Graeme Kapono Urlich

Aloha New Zealand - School of Huna and Hawaiian Shamanism

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