Ask Dr. Druid . Day 24
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“You mean you're finally going to tell us what it's like to be a ShapeShifter? Before we burn you at the stake? Now while the orange flames lick high waiting to eat you alive?”
“Yes,” she said, “I will tell you now. ShapeShifters, seem, of course, monsters to the flat-minded. Being a ShapeShifter is like being a photographic negative, as if your skin, your flesh, were some magic emulsion upon which experience imprints, engraves itself. As if you were a soft, warm wax in which events impressed themselves like a seal. You are like some spy's 'multi-sense bug' which overhears oversmells, oversees, overfeels, overtastes, holds, records, keeps the vibrations of people's souls, of sentients' souls. And all is sentient. ShapeShifting is why you seem to know their deepest secrets. You do. Because to a rare degree, you *are* them.
“We are not monsters. To a ShapeShifter, this coalescence is natural. It's *how* we know — by identity. Not dispassionately, but rhapsodically. As Indians used to take on courage by eating the raw hot liver of the bear, we take on all the qualities of what we observe directly, intimately. I suppose you could say it's a kind of cannibalism, of theft — certainly many do say that, and we have been burned, dismembered. But we do not consume you, use you up. It's more like putting you in an art book, an holographic (holo-audic, holo-olfact, holo-kino, holo-gusto) museum. Some see us as thieves, pirates, some as art collectors, archivists of your unique pattern, melody.
“I have looked out of so many alien eyes, smiled so many other smiles. It's a strange sensation. My flesh sensors, circuits can get clogged with you all “The tenderness of the knowledge, however, and the relative completeness is enchanting. I do not think we would choose the more flat, veneer way of knowing that the non-empaths employ. My eyes are like fingertips to touch you. Like an ice cream cone, I lick you. I am a very good pickpocket. You do not know I have stolen you. If I say nothing, you do not know, and it is painless. Only if I speak echoes of your own secrets then you resent being transparent when you thought your disguise was so impenetrable your camouflage so complete. “You see, we don't mind people's filthy little secrets. We have filthy little secrets too. It could be funny. We could laugh and shrug together. But you all are so defensive.Mortified. “Yes, ShapeShifters are certainly protean, able to shift shape. It's as if our being-stuff is magnetized to 'shape.' It feels like a kind of invisible embrace, as the very air embraces us. Or as the bird's wings feel the shape of the air as it flies.”
The burly brownhaired priest who guarded her wondered if he would dare give up his safe powerful position for the radiance she wore like a glory, an aureole. He doubted it. Radiance was dangerous. Yet had the pagans really lost? Somehow true art always still seemed slightly pagan, even in the sanctuaries. As if these fierce and radiant people wove their secret signs into the sacred text, as if there were lines between the lines that such as he could not see.
His scarlet hood hid his keen blue eyes. He leaned toward her and whispered hoarsely, “Have you ever met another one?” This close, the huge fire was very loud. She smiled at him wickedly and tossed her thick glossy hair which looked the color of fire itself in this vivid light.
“Yes, I've known three. What could I tell you before the even bigger bishops come to hurl me into your fine fire?
“Imagine if you had been ice in the winter, lovely latticed cold crystals, still and abiding. You'd practiced that, were excellent at ice. Imagine then that you were twenty-five and by some magic Spring came upon you for the first time and all that abiding stillness melted into a bustling stream careening down the greening hillside past trees arrayed with apple blossoms. The hot yellow sun shone and you rose up into clouds which floated like lotus blossoms of mist across the sky. Now, because you had met another Changer, you knew all the forms of water. Meeting another ShapeShifter is the most simple thirstquenching delight sentience can devise. The knowledge of all that possibility of form, freedom of form, is a treasure your bishops cannot steal or torture from me.
“We are your future, you know, even if you kill us prototypes. Sentience must unfold to shapeshifting. ShapeShifting is intuition made manifest. It is the implacable black of coal transforming suddenly into the splendid imprisoned fire of diamond. Quicksilver quick playing of the spectrum from opacity to transparency — ahh. Remember tonight. Fare thee well. Be lucky. Next time round, let's be friends.”
. . .
. . .
Now that you’re beginning to grok that attention is a substance, a patterned, shape-able, plastic, elastic substance, shapeshifting will begin to sweetly, surreptitiously, and mysteriously make senses to you.
The rudiments of shapeshifting are something you already do constantly with the ease of breathing. You examine & explore your environment with unconscious empathy at all moments. You listen, you smell, you watch. (Your ‘senses’ are, of course, not really separate, but more on that anon.)Your senses manage, guide your attention stuff – it is to be hoped with symphonic grace.
Symphonic grace is probably a stretch right now, but we hope in this first month we’re moving you past cacophonic blundering or insolent or oblivious inertia with your attentions.
Remember that it’s expected that learning new skills will be awkward and lurching along the way. Be kind to your mind. Check that there’s no insidious whispering from your pesky Inner Perfectionist. Shoo it back to <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />Fiji to grog out.
As you incorporate more consciousness, more deft alertness, more keen and delighted awareness into your experience, you’ll dwell in the blissed & blessed state of quantum attentions, of lambent appreciations. You’ll feel yourself shapeshiftily as wave in addition to particle. You’ll become halcyon with and within yourself.
‘Halcyon’ is the Greek word for ‘kingfisher,’ the bright bird. The word 'halcyon,' in the words as gems way of the Greeks, words as micro-vignettes, describes the kind of sweet day wherein the kingfisher can build her nest upon the bosom of the sea.
‘Lambent’ is a sweet watercolory awashed, with a hula of light, is when you grok the effervescent champagne of extralight that the opener lens of your attentions can now perceive, if not constantly, at least more frequently. Oh frabjous joy. Oh mirthmost merriment.
You see, if you begin, as a discipline, consciously distinguishing between AllElse and People, you will always have this fascination, this lavish oasis of unlimited perception and mobius thrill and delight to refresh you for the much more algebraic and baffling interactions with People. There will come, quite soon, a time when you know that that quicksilver, that molasses sweet AllElse part of your life can not be tarnished nor soured. This is a fierce, dear, and indelible freedom. Appreciation is the universal solvent.
Having this Wild Game Preserve in your mind and heart, a place of untamed attentions where you can be wildly wholeheartedly enchanted is essential to give you the delight, the courage, and the adaptability to not be felled or emptied by the advertent or inadvertent betrayals of People — who – Drat it! – so seldom seem to have read the clearly excellent script you’ve so elaborately written for them.
. . .<!>. . . . . .
..see mobius in glossary.
..vignette is a little story, usually charming or quirky;
Ask Dr. Druid, 66 Days from Lead to Gold, Secrets of Alchemy You Can Use, a druid shaman’s playbook .. Intro; Prologue; Day 1; Days 2 & 3; Day 4; Day 5; Day 6; Day 7; Day 8; Day 9; Day 10; Day 11; Day 12; Day 13; Day 14; day 15 Review 2; Day 16; Day 17; Day 18; Day 19; Day 20; Day 21; Day 22; Day 23; Day 24; Day 25; Day 26; Day 27; Day 28; Day 29;
If you know or are an agent, editor, publisher person who would handle this kind of druid material, please let me know at .. firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put ‘agent’ in the subject line.
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