Another Stereotype of the Month entry:
November 3, 2007
Author puts principles of American Indian spirituality into practice
By Jean Gordon
# Who: Jim PathFinder Ewing signs copies of his new book, Healing Plants and Animals From a Distance: Curative Principles and Applications (Findhorn Press, $16.95).
# When: 1-3 p.m, today.
# Where: Lemuria Books, 4465 I-55N, Jackson.
# Web site: www.blueskywaters.com.
Along with writing editorials for The Clarion-Ledger, Jim Ewing practices American Indian spirituality and lectures on shamanism and energy medicine. He recently published the third in a series of books about shamanism, Healing Plants and Animals From a Distance: Curative Principles and Applications.
Q: Why did you write this book?
A: This is actually the third in a trilogy of books on shamanism that basically break down into people, places and things, though not necessarily in that order. The first was Clearing: A Guide to Liberating Energies Trapped in Buildings and Lands, that was the "places" part. The second, Finding Sanctuary in Nature: Simple Ceremonies in the Native American Tradition for Healing Yourself and Others, was the "people" part. This is the "things" part — though, I might add, things are people, too!
Q: Things are people, too?
A: Absolutely. In shamanism, or the way of looking at the world where everything is alive, or has a life of its own, an energy of its own, all things, and that includes plants and animals, have Power (with a capital "P") or their own medicine, that animus or energy that creator/God gave them that makes them what they are. In this book, we speak of the plant and animal nations, just as we speak of the sovereignty of human beings, the families and relations of humans.
Q: You teach in this book how to speak to plants and animals?
A: More accurately, the book helps the reader learn how to hear what they have to say, so that you can communicate with them. We speak in a language of the left brain that is rational, logical, linear. Plants and animals speak as well, but they don't speak as we do ... We must learn to tune in to them.
Q: How do you heal them from a distance?
A: Healing, in a shamanic and indigenous way, is more accurately bringing balance and harmony. The physician might see a broken bone and tie a splint. The medicine man or shaman would try to determine what happened to cause the broken bone, as well as ease the suffering. That's why most shamanic practice, or energy medicine, is called complementary or alternative medicine. It complements, and doesn't supplant, Western medicine. But to do energy medicine, or shamanic healing, one must learn to see and speak to, communicate with, touch or have an effect on, the energy of a thing, whether person, plant, animal or even stone. In energy medicine, it doesn't matter whether one is near or far. Time and space are relative. The book outlines ways to incorporate ritual and practice to effect healing, harmony, balance.
Q: The energies of plants and animals can be equated with the energies in lands and buildings just as energies affect people?
A: Our most esteemed scientists tell us that all is energy, that matter is neither wave nor particle, that events and objects can change simply by observing them, that matter winks in and out of existence, that energy is neither created nor destroyed, just changes form, and a host of other discoveries that native people have known for thousands of years. Our society is good at studying direct causes and effects and, through science, building things. But it is virtually bereft of knowledge of the great power of spirit and how miracles, acausal acts, occur. Yet, the unobserved, the unknowable, is much greater and more in play around us constantly than the known and knowable. Each of these books takes a fragment of the unknown and unknowable and attempts to make it known and knowable.
Q: You live in Lena, but your books are published overseas?
A. Yes. I've been practicing energy medicine for quite a few years, traveling around the country doing ceremony and teaching, and our monthly newsletter has been going out for seven years across the United States and to several foreign countries.
Ewing's "energy medicine" sounds like typical New Age nonsense. Unless he's Native himself, Ewing shouldn't be practicing, teaching, or writing about "American Indian spirituality."
Even if he is Native, he probably shouldn't be teaching or writing about his beliefs. Most tribes want to keep these things private, not make them public.
New Age mystics, healers, and ceremonies
Indian wannabes and imitators
. . .
All material © copyright its original owners, except where noted.
Original text and pictures © copyright 2007 by Robert Schmidt.
Copyrighted material is posted under the Fair Use provision of the Copyright Act,
which allows copying for nonprofit educational uses including criticism and commentary.
Comments sent to the publisher become the property of Blue Corn Comics
and may be used in other postings without permission.