Have you ever heard that saying, “No good deed goes unpunished”? Well, this is often the case with Shamanism. Someone once told me that when it comes to the well being of the community it is often the Shaman who is the first to be blamed and the last to be thanked. This has proven true many times. Don’t get me wrong. There are LOTS of people who have used my services and have experienced wondrous things within themselves and are extremely grateful. But now and then there comes along what I call the “Born Again Hypocrite”.
The Born Again Hypocrite is the one who uses someone’s assistance and then, after all is said and done and either they or their family member is well and on their way in life, stabs the one who was assisting them or their family member in the back by gossiping about them being “evil” in some way. This usually gets them a lifetime ban from my services. As much as I am committed to assisting people on their healing journey, if someone does something like this they can rest assured that I will NEVER assist them in ANY way in the future.
For example, I worked a number of years ago on an 8 year old boy who was brought in by his mother on the recommendation of a friend of a client. He was experiencing some pretty painful symptoms and had been thoroughly checked by the medical profession to no avail. They could not find a single solitary thing wrong with him. After three sessions of energy balancing his symptoms went away and did not, to this day from what I hear (small community) return. Two weeks after the last session my client was out for coffee with this child’s mom and their common friend. The mother began going on and on about how “No one should have that much power, so Trent must be satanic.” My client stopped and listened very carefully to what this woman was saying to their common friend. When she seemed to be done my client jumped down her throat about how ungrateful and insidious she was for betraying my reputation on the grounds that I HAD HELPED HER SON TO GET WELL! Basically she wound up ending the relationship with both that woman and their common friend, who was defending this atrocious behaviour. Then she came to me to let me know what this idiot was saying about me. I thanked her for letting me know and put the woman and her entire family on the “Not in a Million Years” list. People have a habit of shooting themselves in the foot when it comes to ridiculous dogmatic belief systems.
In Tai Chi we are taught that the best way to avoid conflict is to simply not be where conflict is. I use that philosophy in social situations and in my work. This is the type of work that requires harmony within and between all participants. There is no way I am going to place myself into a situation of trying to work on the healing of someone who actually thinks that I am in league with the Devil! How far do you think THAT would get? The funny thing is that I don’t even actually believe in a DEVIL as such. That is something that is born of dualistic thinking and I am way outside of that realm. So to be accused of being one who is consort with something that I know to not even exist….well….that is just stupid on all levels.
What I have learned each time that this sort of thing has happened, either in my work or in my personal life, is that humans are really creeped out and afraid of ANYTHING that they don’t understand. Instead of taking the stance of the Great Adventurer, they prefer to hide in their hovels and shake in their boots. They don’t even realize that THEY TOO COULD DO THIS if they wanted to and if they trained to do it. But they think so little of themselves that they don’t realize that they project all sorts of fears and anxieties onto others who are there to help. They act much like the drowning man who ends up drowning the one who swam out to save him. Well, I learned that when you are in a situation where you are trying to help a drowning man and he panics and is putting your own life at risk, what you do is break his nose when you knock the idiot out and then drag his sorry ass to safety. This is how I deal with people like that who trash my reputation. I will either walk away and never look back (for which they should again be eternally grateful) or I will smack them so hard with words and energy while they are being jerks that it will pretty much feel to them like they have been physically hit by a crowbar. I do not use my energy work to harm. But I will and should use it to protect myself. That is allowed.
In every spiritual tradition there are teachings about how nasty it is to gossip, tell lies and back bite other people. I find that it is sad that 1. these teachings have to actually be stated when we, as humans, should already know better and 2. even though the teachings are there people still feel quite self-righteous when they are doing what their teachings tell them NOT to do. Seriously….if I COULD LEARN THIS STUFF BY THE TIME I WAS 5 YEARS OLD THEN WHAT IS THEIR PROBLEM? These teachings actually are there to help us all to learn how to live harmoniously together on this planet. Gossip is one of the most insidious things going. It can, once put into action, completely destroy lives. There was a time when gossip was something that only occurred at the corner cafe. Now it goes VIRAL with social media. There really should be hefty sentences for those who have been proven guilty of promoting gossip. In the old days a thief would be punished with the removal of a hand. Perhaps a gossiper should be punished with the removal of their tongue? I know….that is just harsh. And there is a part of me that still would love to see that happen. I’m working on it. In the meantime, if I ever hear someone else talking trash about someone, even if I don’t know that person, I will let them know that my opinion of them has just reached an all-time low. And I don’t let them know this politely or in private. I call them on their garbage behaviour immediately, loudly and publically. That way they can experience the public humiliation of what they have just been called on. It just might prevent them from ever doing it again. I figure that if I, as an elder in the community, don’t step up to this sort of challenge, then who will? Mind you, I have done this since I was about 25 years of age. So perhaps it has nothing to do with being an elder and everything to do with knowing what it is like to be the target of gossip. Either way, most often everyone around is very willing to back me up on calling someone out on this kind of stuff. If they don’t then we no longer need to associate because I refuse to be connected to anyone who gossips or who supports that behaviour.
I have come to the conclusion that “common sense” is not that common at all. I think that it is obviously a sign of a higher intelligence. Those without it are not intelligent enough to even realize that they are missing something. It is kind of like when you are dead and you don’t know it but everyone else in the world does know it. Stupid people are like that. They don’t know it but everyone else in the world does. Some will understand the error of their ways once it is pointed out, or once the error of their own ways get turned upon THEM. But some just prefer to live their lives in the “idiot” category of humans. Those are the ones that, no matter how much you try to teach them better ways, will always resort to the lowest common denominator of behaviour. Why we are not allowed to sterilize them is a mystery to me. I mean really, do we seriously WANT them to procreate?
This also boils down to a discussion on what it is to be a “good” person as opposed to an asshole. It is not, for me, about religious morals. Those can vary. It is about a moral compass that is within each and every one of us. When we ignore that compass, we end up drifting off into a region of behaviour that can be so hideous that it should be featured in an Alfred Hitchcock movie….or even in a Stephen King novel!
- When I speak of this, it is not my intent to make you think that I am changing my mind about Pavarotti….yet. That stuff was weird.
- It is amazing how far we can go when our minds are open. When they are not, we really do end up self-sabotaging.
- I often wonder quietly to myself if a moral compass is something that people are not actually born with, but something that I was born with because I carried it over from a past life. But then I encounter others who DO have a moral compass and realize that it is not just me, for which I am always quite relieved.
- I hope that some of my struggles with people who gossip are not just because I am the one who is dead and does not know it. One does have to ask these sorts of questions now and then. LOL
- The more nonsense that people act out, the more I truly appreciate my dogs.