My body was cleansed by those blue rays, and as I looked at the brilliant golden orb of the sun, I saw that the rays were coming from the “eyes” of the sun—two eyes that were weeping. I could feel pain from the eyes of the sun, reflected in my body as the old hurts and accumulations of pain, being washed away by the tears of the sun.
Of course, we know the sun can’t “weep,” or feel pain, nor can water exist on its surface. What I saw, though, is scientific fact, in part. Spectral lines of water have been proven to flow from sunspots. According to astrophysicists, using sensitive light measuring devices, the phenomenon is readily observable.1 Scientists cannot explain it, but it’s verifiably true. Which makes more sense: My vision of the sun weeping and being healed by it on an energetic level? Or scientists puzzling over a phenomenon without understanding or finding any significant meaning in what they see?
Both are discrete perceptions. Both are “true.” I saw water coming from the sun—so did the scientists. This is how “seeing” shamanically can help you “see” the world; reality has many faces. Many people say they only believe what they can touch or see. However, it is common knowledge that 99.99999+ percent of the atom is open space. Now, think about that for a moment. That’s a quantifiable fact. What you touch or see is verifiably . . . nothing. Truths uncovered by physics last century have yet to become a part of our everyday reality, so grounded are we in a material worldview. Matter exists as both a wave and a particle; it can both exist and be nonexistent— “wink” in and out of existence. It is known that what is perceived as “real” is actually a disturbance in space—a measurable wrinkle in the energy of space. It’s the “wrinkle,” or perceived solidness, that differentiates matter from space, which is unseen, unknown, and largely unknowable.
What this means is that what is “really real” turns our operative notions of what is “real” upside down. As it turns out, the science of what is “real” is essentially the same mythos (perception) as that of the shamans, seers, and mystics in indigenous societies for thousands of years. In the words of quantum mechanics, the vast space between the particles is filled with energy, much more so than what is produced to create a particle. Compare this with the shaman’s way of thinking, where every “thing” holds Power (with a capital P, acknowledging its life or life-force energy). Every thing has within it the capacity to be something else, more or less than what it appears. What is unseen can have much more power than what is seen. And how something is seen can reveal more about what is seen than the way its appearance is sensed.
Indeed, in both the shaman’s and the scientist’s way of viewing the world, the unseen is much more real than what is touched and seen. The space between the particles of the atom is filled with Power, or potential. It has more power than the particles it produces because its potential to produce is always greater than what is produced. It can always produce more, whereas what is produced can only return to its wave state, adding even more to the potential to produce.
How “real” is the real world? Infinitely unreal. You could cut an atom in half infinitely and never reduce it down to nothing; yet it is the epitome of nothing. Half of nothing is nothing. Put another way: Half of infinity is infinite. This is the real world, not that which is dimly perceived by the lowest common denominator of perception. How much better—and more accurate—it is to see life as balance and harmony, the world a place where we strive to achieve beauty (in Cherokee, duyuktv, or hozho, the Beauty Way, among the Navajo or Diné) within our beings; to see, feel, and be harmony, finding balance in each moment.
Our very universe may be “unreal” in the scheme of things, scientifically. A theory called inflation posits that the universe we see is just a small bubble of spacetime that got rapidly expanded after the Big Bang. There could be other parts of the cosmos beyond this bubble that we cannot see. In these regions, space-time might be very different, and likely doesn’t contain stars and galaxies (which only formed because of the particular density pattern of mass in our bubble). It could include giant, massive structures much larger than anything in our own observable universe.2
Even time itself is a matter of perception and interpretation. As every schoolchild knows, time is relative. Large bodies such as the sun actually bend time just as they also bend space. So, time is scalable. The “time” measured for an ant walking along the surface of the earth is not the same “time” as the light of a star bending around the sun.
From such “large” examples all the way down to the nuclear level, it is believed that time is the disturbance (events) around particles. But what may ultimately be the key to time is the ratio between them—the fractals of time sequences. The term fractal refers to the mathematical objects that show self-similarity at different length scales. It is a geometric pattern repeated at diminishing scales to produce shapes and surfaces that cannot be represented by classical geometry but recreate irregular patterns and structures in nature. Each set or frame is unique, but they are scalable and identical, much as events—time— are represented. That is, if similar ratios of scale are superimposed, it’s possible that pathways could exist between them. Time and space could be negotiated (time travel)3.
Scientists are delving into this theoretical way of manipulating reality, using the principles of quantum mechanics. For example, as reported in Technology Review, published by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston, a way has been found to “teleport” energy.4 Photons, atoms, and ions have been shifted from one location to another, based on the work of Charlie Bennett at IBM’s Watson Research Center in New York State; one physicist has worked out how to do it with energy, a technique that has profound implications for the future of physics.
The technique relies on the quantum phenomenon called entanglement, in which two particles share the same existence. This deep connection means that a measurement on one particle immediately influences the other, even though they may be light-years apart. The key, according to this line of research, is to send the information the particles contain instead of the actual particles and ensure that there is a ready supply of particles at the other end to take on their identity5—in other words, teleportation. Among those studying this phenomenon, there is a growing sense that the properties that govern the universe are best described not by the laws that govern matter but by the laws that govern information.
Information is the bedrock of sacred ceremony as practiced by indigenous peoples for thousands of years. In indigenous societies, those performing ceremonies take great care to arrange the angles of the wood in a sacred fire, as well as the geometry of the burning coals.6 This is done so that only those spirits that are invited may enter the sacred space. A ceremonial elder probably would not use the term “fractals” in explaining the great care in practicing sacred geometry in the altar space, nor launch into the quantum theory of entanglement to describe the activities; nevertheless, indigenous practices conform nicely with the theories of modern physics.
Again, what we are talking about here is perception and interpretation. The scientist sees the world of matter as being mostly composed of space from which particles are briefly produced and then disappear, perhaps to reappear somewhere else. There are infinite possibilities in the sequence of events (time/space/matter). The shaman sees the world as things that are seen. This can be seen in the Mexican Toltec way of viewing, for example, which includes the tonal, or all that may be touched and measured or known, and the nagual, all that is unknown, unknowable, and in potential.