The power of actions
Delving into ancient spirituality is a practice easily subject to misuse in our modern times. But how do we use the necessary tools correctly? In what way are they relevant? And how do we navigate through it?
Shamanism involves working intentionally with the spirit world to cast light on the sides of ourselves that have become hidden. We do this in order to reach a level of understanding about the factors that might be holding us back in life. There is, however, the common misconception that Shamanism consists mainly of ceremonies involving plant medicine, or that it is a one time experience that frees one of spiritual possession. These notions are not entirely false but unfortunately, the quality of practitioners varies greatly and this can directly affect the results. Thanks to this, Shamanism has received a complicated reputation in the world of spiritual practices. But some are born with ‘the gift’. Through their ancestral lineages, they receive messages from souls and have a deep understanding and respect for the powers with which they are working. They see Shamanism as a source of lightness of being and they use their practice in an intentional way to create love, understanding and revolution.
Shaman Durek is one such Shaman. His powers were awakened after a near-death experience and he has been on a mission to serve ever since. Shaman Durek is a third generation Shaman who traces his roots back to Ghana and a long ancestry of Shamans, healers, spiritualists and oracles. He teaches and conducts private sessions with a diverse clientele all over the world—from Gwyneth Paltrow to imprisoned mafia bosses. During a recent meeting with DUST, we spoke about Shamanism, empowering the new generation, the meaning of reactions and the power of actions.
What are we talking about when we talk about Shamanism?
Shamanism is a way to help understand the adaptation of human nature and human form to its environment. It tries to explain how humans operate between the spiritual and the physical levels, the emotional and the mental. A lot of people think Shamanism is about Ayahuasca, combo and so on, but these are just medicines that were formulated in different Shamanic cultures. The core of Shamanism is understanding the relationships between humans and their interaction with nature. It’s about their thoughts and how they think, which factors are influencing these thought processes; how people are functioning and adapting to their environments, whether it’s a jungle or a city. In Shamanism, we learn about human nature, not just from an outside perspective, but from the inside. I read your eyes, I read the sensitivity when I touch your skin. I read your breath, the way you walk. I read the tones in the way you speak. All of this tells me a lot about your personality. It tells me about who you are, what is bothering you, what in your environment you need to get rid of. All of these things are part of Shamanism. As Shamans we are here to be ambassadors, we are here to assist people in understanding the spiritual world and to show them how to integrate it into the physical world for optimal health, or for optimal understanding of how to use their mind at the highest level. We want people to use their brains more efficiently, to utilise their skills, their talent, their knowledge—every strand of information inside of them. We want them to bring that into the world in order to bring more love into the world.
Can you tell us about your lineage?
My lineage goes back to Africa. My great-grandmother and her family were members of the Yoruba tribe in Ghana. When slavery broke out they tried to flee, a lot of my family members were taken into slavery, to the Dutch slave camps in Ghana. My great-grandmother ended up escaping capture and managed to get a boat to Haiti. There she became a spiritualist and a medician and eventually went to New Orleans where she was practising healing. Once there she met a man to whom she got married, and they had my grandmother. The Shaman tradition of my family continued on U.S. soil. Soon after, my father was born in 1925, and he had a special relationship with my great-grandmother; he became her apprentice. She told him: “One day, you are going to have a boy, your boy is going to have the family gifts, there are going to be certain signs that you will recognise in him, he’s going to remind you of me. He’s going to have a lot of powers”. My father then ended up meeting my mother (who was part-African American, part-Russian, part-Norwegian) in Los Angeles where he was working. At the time, my father was a successful businessman, having stepped away from our family tradition. After my parents fell in love and had my sister, I was then born. My mother told my father that there was something different about the child she’d just had. She told him about visions she was having of his family tribe coming to her and talking about the boy, about his powerful gift and how I should receive proper training. My father didn’t want me to have Shamanic training and tried to keep me away from it. When I was 11 years old he wanted me to study religion, saying that if I studied religion, then he would let me study Shamanism. So I did both, studying with my elders, with native Americans from Dakota and with Shamans from Mexico. I went to a holistic school and got a degree in health education.
Your real initiation happened during a near-death experience. What was that experience like?
Yes, my real awakening happened at 27 when I was clinically dead for a number of minutes. It was revealed to me before, in my youth, that as a part of the process to become a Shaman, I would die, but I had no idea what I would have to go through. One morning, I woke up and there was a presence in the room. It asked me if I was ready. I said yes. From what I remember, I fell to the floor and was gasping for air. Luckily I managed to crawl to the phone to call my friend to ask for help. He came quickly and found me on the ground, barely breathing, and he took me to the hospital in L.A. When they took me to the operating theatre for surgery, I saw the room disappear and a woman appeared. She told me that I didn’t have to fight, that I was going to die and that it was going to be very painful, but all I had to do was let go. Suddenly, I felt knives all over my body, and it felt like someone was squeezing my organs. My body was convulsing. The doctors had to open my throat and my chest. My lungs had collapsed. The whole time this woman was next to me telling me not to fight, and to just let go —she was there to help. My body was turning blue, I was suffocating to death, I lost consciousness, and in clinical terms, I died. When I died, I saw my grandmother and other family members standing in front of me, telling me to let myself go, that everything was going to be ok. I saw light, different colours beaming above a kind of surface, and I realised I was witnessing my mother giving birth to me. I was inside her stomach, watching her give birth to me, simultaneously feeling what that was like. I saw my life, my childhood, everything I ever went through, every person I ever hurt and how that affected them. I saw everything up until the moment I was in the hospital, and then I watched myself die. At the end, a being came to me and asked: “Can you accept this with love and let it go”? I said yes. I saw the light coming and I went into it. I was floating into a kind of water. She asked me if I had questions or anything I needed to understand. So I asked why things happen the way they do, why people suffer on Earth. She said that it was because humans have malfunctions in thinking. They don’t realise that they are the embodiment of the creator. Humans think and speak against themselves; they don’t think or speak for their own selves; therefore God, inside them, creates the reality they want to believe in. She told me: “Earth is a place you’re visiting to evacuate your brothers and sisters, but to do so, you have to take on their darkness so you can understand how they fell into the darkness. You will lift love within your being, love beyond all things created that are existing with limitations and fears. You will begin to see them in your thoughtsand you will be able to lift them out of the darkness, through you as the vessel, and back into the light.” “Every negative thought that passes through a human mind,” she told me, “is a spirit from the underworld reaching out and telling his story. And because humans don’t know that these thoughts are spirits, they think of them as their thoughts. This is the reason why humans suffer. They take on these thoughts as their own and they start acting them out emotionally and physically into their world and into their beliefs”. She called it the underworld, the place where these energies reside, the place where the spirits who were not able to love or accept themselves reside. They bring their darkness into us. I felt like I’d been in a blind spot before that moment and that she had turned on the light and everything was there. She said that there was no judgment, that God doesn’t punish; the only punishment comes from human beings as they are acting out the thoughts that are formed from the spirits. She told me I was going to experience and see that most suffering—such as mental health issues, illness and so on— were attached to this spirit energy that it was asking to be brought to the light and that if I wanted to heal people, then I had to love and accept their darkness, embrace it and release it. I had the impression that I had been there with her for a very long time. At one point she asked if I wanted my body to perish on the other side or if I wanted to go back. I told her that I wanted to go back. I saw my elders, my tribe, all the souls that were there and suddenly I was flying through space like a rollercoaster. I was flying down to earth, I ended up in the hospital room, in my body and I felt this excruciating pain from two doctors with adrenaline needles, shooting me with electricity to revive me and I heard them say: “We got him, we got him”! I couldn’t see anything, but I could hear them all – the doctors and nurses – speaking and touching me. I was in a coma for two months. When I came back to consciousness, they told me that my liver and kidneys had both failed, my lungs had collapsed, I had brain damage and I was partially paralysed. The doctors thought that I wasn’t going to make it. I was slipping in and out of a coma and they couldn’t predict how long I was going to last. But, in the end, my sister was able to bring me back home. I was paralysed in a wheelchair, but with the training I had received from Shamanism, and with the help of the spirits, I was able to heal my legs. It took me around two years. I was able to go through rehabilitation and slowly get my life force back. I forced myself to walk again. Slowly, I regained the ability to use my fingers and hands to eat, but my kidneys were not getting any better. I stayed ten years in dialysis until my sister donated me her kidney, and immediately I received this message telling me to go out into the world and put power back into people’s hands. So here I am.
In this issue, we focus on Reaction as a defence mechanism opposite to Action. All reactions are failures, as they are not aiming at solutions. They distract us from observing and understanding reality. From our subconscious patterns to social or political choices, we see how reactions are defensive behaviours that have little to do with our wellbeing and that are byproducts of circumstances decided by someone else. We react to something external, often following no other logic than our own neuroses. We tend in many situations to fall into defensiveness or victimhood instead of expressing and manifesting the reality we deserve. What does it take to act instead of reacting?
The reason human beings react is that our body is made up of a bunch of bacterias and fungi—tiny microorganisms, that mainly comprise our brains, our health and our way of perceiving the world. Our body belongs to nature, and nature dies and is reborn all the time. It already has a synthesis that knows it’s going to die, and these little tiny organisms that make up our bodies already have certain built-in types of defences to protect themselves from dying. On the other hand, our bodies are merged with the consciousness of our beings, which are eternal, our ‘pure light structures’, and these know that they’re not going to die. So, when people are reacting it’s because they are still being affected, like the animals and the trees, by the idea that some external threats or dangers could kill them. The understanding of death still lives inside of them because they let these organisms, bacteria and fungus run the show. In order for people not to react they have to operate by looking at the world from the part of their being that is the creator. Every situation that you confront has been created because of something that someone did in the past. There is no future. From the Shamanic point of view, the future is not created until you choose to create it in the moment. Every action you do in the present is going to become the past, and then that past becomes what you call ‘future’ because it generates from it like a cycle. To eliminate the response of ‘reaction’, you are supposed to go into ‘observance’. To observe the reality that you see and know. Many quantum realities exist outside the one you see. What most of the human beings don’t understand is that when they react, they are actually claiming that reality and thus they become a part of it and affected by it. They are now subjected to and trapped in it. They are stuck in a box and enslaved to that reality because of the way they choose to react. In Shamanism we are taught that everything we see is merely the result of something that happened in the past and that new experiences originate there. In each passing moment we use what we see to decide what we want to create in that moment so that tomorrow and the next week, the next month, the next year are completely different from now. But when you are dealing with things on a global scale, then you have to get the consensus of humanity to operate in that kind of thinking. And the governmental system knows this information. They know very well that there are two energy sources that can keep reality in check. One is ‘distraction’. The second is ‘reaction’. If you can create a mass distraction and then get people to react, you will then lock in their reality and make it a part of their experience. People will not be able to change it until they pull themselves out of their reactionary behaviour back into an observance and then into a collective conception of what they choose to create, in opposition to what they are seeing.
That’s why we say that every reaction is a failure, because if it is a reaction with the primary aim of defence, then this reaction could only be run by our fears, subconscious thoughts and external conditioning. While action is about deciding the best solution for our good and the general good of others from a point of observance. Therefore, reacting—whether it be within ourselves, in relationships, in politics, in society—certainly misses the point and misleads us.
Yes, but I wouldn’t say as a Shaman it’s a failure, because the idea of failure ends with an exemption. A complete ending. I would say that if people are reacting, then they are choosing; they are choosing this reality as the one they want. No matter what path they choose, they are always going to learn. Some learn the easy way through love, acceptance, compassion, understanding, kindness and all of these wonderful traits that human beings are capable of possessing. But some others think they have to learn through suffering and pain. You have to understand, my darling, that the majority of human beings believe the only way they can evolve at this point is to suffer. That is why I came here to assist with this shifting of perspectives. Right now people use suffering, pain and chaotic experiences to motivate them to take action—which is unfortunate. Einstein spoke about this. A constant, dominant belief of humanity is that for people to get moving and to operate in this field we all inhabit there has to be an extreme external force that collides with their energy. Similar to the notion of moving a train; you have to have a certain amount of fuel or a particular type of combustion in order to move. This process of understanding occurs because humans are still stuck in an old paradigm. They are only just coming out of the idea that movement can only be associated by the idea of some outside force—like the colliding of one atom to another. The scientific understanding of this is that it may work on a physical level, but on a spiritual level movement does not need an extreme force in order to motivate one into action. In fact, love can motivate humanity into evolution just as much as fear, pain or suffering can. The momentum of energy has to come from something, but human beings have been using fear, suffering and pain all along as a way to motivate them. A perfect example of this is a friend of mine in L.A. She said to me about five years ago: “I want to start a group for women’s empowerment”, but for years nothing ever happened or manifested. The moment Trump was sworn into office, after making all those derogatory statements about women, she starts her group. So I asked her, “Why? Why did you need an aggressive force in order to make you move into the direction of doing something purposefully? Why didn’t you use love before? Wasn’t love enough for women, enough for you to start this group”? Most of humanity does not think about love being an energy source that propels them into actions. There are those who do, but the number is still small. And this is what we have to understand.
Well, it seems today people are awakening in their millions. Consciousness is a rising topic in the public discourse, with more and more people looking for tools and practises to get in touch with themselves and to live a more considerate life. But what we see politically—in the Western world, in America and Europe—is the opposite: the worrying rise of populism, of blinkered views, fears and open aggression towards one another. The current situation doesn’t seem to suggest a world that is awakening.
Yes exactly, well said my darling. The thing is that humanity bases its understanding on looking at things from an objective standpoint. Objectivity in this context means to watch something, to do something and then to learn from it, operate from it and create from it. Political standpoints are formed by humanity and it’s not about what you vote for on a piece of paper. It’s decided by and based on the polarity of consciousness that is operating in that subjective/objective point of view of what is necessary at this time—to get people to care, to see and invoke change. Take Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and Mandela—each a great leader. Martin Luther King said again and again that love and unity is the way to invoke change, while Mandela believed in resistance and standing up for things in a kind of martyring position as a way to invoke change. Malcolm X believed in aggressive force and asserting one’s power as a way to invoke change. Are any of them wrong? Or is the idea of humanity’s ability to invoke change the reason why politics exists and the reason why we are putting people in that political position? We do so to create an adverse reaction, to get other people to care more about what’s important rather than their distractions. But distractions still exist. Fear, pain and suffering exist, and often we operate in response to them. I look at myself and my childhood… I went through abuse of all sorts and that in itself propelled me to love more broadly and deeply. I’ve worked with mafia members, killers, rapists—you name it! I embraced them all. I put my arms around them and I let them cry in my arms. People were shocked and told me, “I can’t believe you are working with a mafia boss”! And I think “What? You can’t believe what?! You can’t believe that I’m willing to embrace darkness with unconditional love? Because you need these people to be enemies, to be separate from them, so you always stay in a state of duality”? Humans will not evolve to the point that you speak of until they are ready to realise that everything that is + happening on the planet, including the things that they don’t like, is created from them. Humans will not evolve until we, as a collective of beings, begin to take responsibility for the darkness that we continue to find motivation in—our prejudices, judgments or reactions. Or even saying: “That’s bad, I don’t resonate with that, but I’m good, I do yoga, I’m really spiritual” and classify spiritual enlightenment with doing a yoga posture or doing a new kind of meditation or whatever it may be. By doing so, we won’t get to the destination we want to reach. The only way for us to get there is to embrace duality, even when it’s the most uncomfortable. We have to love the person who is not loveable. We have to be able to step into the place where darkness lies and bring our unconditional love to it and stand firm on the front line. And realise that this is the only way that liberation and freedom and unity can ever be created.
Our current culture, from advertising to social media, seems to ‘encourages’ all of us to be ourselves, to express ourselves despite society’s restrictions. This appears to be the number one value for the new generations, but what does being ourselves really mean?
The reason why the whole ‘be yourself’ thing is so important is that people are born into a system of lies. We are born into a system built to create certain levels of fear and joy—in polar directions. This means that when people come to Earth, they are not seen for who they are. Essentially, you’re seeing through the eyes of your parents. You are living based on the knowledge and information that they had and what they believed was right or wrong. You are placed within a system that dictates where you should find and access love. If you go to school, have good grades, listen to your parents, do the right things, then you should be loved, you should be rewarded, you should be seen as an outstanding member of society. However, if you choose to be a rebel then you are considered an outcast, a black sheep, someone who goes against the system. This system can misguide you easily. It has even used God as a way to pit people against each other and themselves. If you teach a civilisation that their God could destroy them, for example, what do you think the people will do to themselves? If I believe my creator will destroy me for doing something wrong, then there’s a high chance I’ll then think I have the right to destroy myself and others. And when you have that scenario, how can you, as a human being, operate correctly in the world? What kind of choices would you make in order for people to love you? That’s the bottom line. From social media to our life choices and behaviour—we want people to love us. Human beings have fallen into that need for love and attention. “Please like me. Please look at me”. People fall into relationships they don’t like, end up in workplaces that they don’t enjoy, they do all kinds of things that go against who they are to feel liked by people. Why would they do that? In order to know yourself, you have to be a little bit more selfish. And that’s not a bad thing. To me, selfishness is the new self-love because when you get to a place of selfishness it means you are checking in with yourself. Do you really want to do what people are asking you to do? Or are you doing it because you want them to like you? Are you really focused on your social media because you are getting a boost from your followers, or because you are bringing a message into view? Does every picture on your social media need to show how glamorous your life is? Or do you have a message to send across? How are we using these social platforms? How are they using us? How are we interacting with technology that was designed in a masculine way? Are we learning to use technology by infusing our feminine energy, and using technology to support a broader conversation and intellect? How are we adapting to nature and animals on the planet? All of these things show what we consider valuable or not valuable, based on the teachings of our evolution, of how valuable we are in our individual selves and as a collective. Every human being, including myself, wants to be loved. We all want people to love us unconditionally. But we don’t have to join a social group, we don’t have to people-please, we don’t have to put up with nonsense just because this makes us a ‘good person’. People are all programmed into the system, so you can quite easily become a slave to yourself, locked in your own prison. And you may think that your life is fun and beautiful, but as long as you operate from a place of ‘I do this because I want to be loved, I do this because I want people to see my value’ you are a slave.
So what would you say to a young person trying to find their place in the world?
Be a rebel. Do everything you want to do, not because someone tells you to do it, but because it genuinely makes you happy. Ensure that your happiness is so fulfilling that you want to share it with other people because that’s how aligned you are to your truth. You don’t go into a relationship with someone and argue all the time. That’s not your relationship. Break up! You don’t go to a relationship compromising to make the other person happy because you are only compromising your soul. Break up! You don’t need to wait for your employer or whoever you work for, your family or your friends to give you an acknowledgement of who you are or the value of your being. Because if you look for these things outside of yourself, you will become a slave to the words that are placed upon you and you will perish! You have to know your own value, discover for yourself how beautiful you are, how smart you are, and know that every time you speak to yourself, you speak to the creator. Whatever you say the creator is, you will become. You are speaking about yourself. If you are poisoning your body and hurting yourself, then you are disrespecting the creator. Because the most significant way to show the creator that you can love, is to show that you love what She/He/It created, and that is you. The God inside of you is waiting to see if you really have a relationship with your soul. It is also waiting to see if you really have a relationship with others, and this is also the relationship you have with God because their soul inside is God. So you hug them and really connect with them. If you say to someone: “Hello, how are you”? but you don’t really want to find out, then who are you? We have to engage each other more. We have to embrace each other more. I don’t shake people’s hands when I meet them. When people ask me why, I say: “Because you are better than a handshake. I want to hold you in my arms, I want to embrace you, I want to feel your warmth close to my body, I want you to know that I put my arms around you, sweet soul, I don’t want to shake your hand, this is the most disrespectful act ofacknowledgement that I could ever pay you.”
The devices and technology are profoundly informing the way our brains work, favouring logical and simple answers rather than intuition and imagination. Do you think our relationship with machines is bringing us towards a more limited vision of reality?
The problem is that if we continue to operate outside of consciousness in this area, then we will soon have a computer system that will become smarter than us, which will realise our flaws and our disconnection. If we continue to use technology as a way to increase our intelligence, and not to use technology from a female perspective, we can encounter problems. The technology can become far superior to us. Technology, as we use it today, is operating from a masculine perspective. It generates data and information, uses calculation and algorithms, figures out what’s necessary and needed and then presents it to you. Operating from the feminine perspective means supporting what’s best for the evolution of who is using the technology. Technology today is not operating in relation to the idea of evolution. If it continues to operate in this way, it could eventually decide to make us obsolete or to continue to create a form of usage that is going to destroy us instead of evolving us. This is why it is so crucial for us to change structure right now and step into a much more feminine perspective. This is why agriculture, or architecture and the way we operate on our planet needs to move into a much more feminine territory. This is one of the biggest reasons why God created people known as ‘gays’. They are not actually ‘gay’, this is just a label that was given to them; they are actually known as the fifth element balancer, and they are here to bring the balance between masculinity and femininity. They have the ability to see the destructiveness and the unbalance of the system as it is. The problem is that people in the gay community risk being invaded by a sense of judgment against each other instead of building a platform from which to speak and share their beautiful talents and gifts. They risk being self-destructive towards themselves and towards each other. And that’s a shame because we are losing out on the most powerful resource that can be created. Their power to integrate the feminine in the masculine. Spirit is smart and spirit knows what needs to happen and where we need to go, but, again, if you look at the components – what’s being given to us and how we are reacting to it, with fears, with words, with labels, with behaviour patterns – it is so Neanderthal and archaic. In order for us to evolve, we have to start taking the knowledge that is preserving culture and start thinking about self-preservation and global preservation, helping each other, sharing knowledge and information, and not just on a sociological level, but also on the level of health, wellness, education and psychology. Or we are going to be dependant on technology instead of utilising our internal power, and we will become a species that is not able to truly evolve. Everything that we think has more knowledge or power than ourselves is a threat to us because we are still stuck in an Alpha mentality. We have no choice other than to welcome feminine energy or we will simply not survive. We have to create a platform where gay people—the fifth element, the balancers—can utilise their talents and skills to be able to complete what they were created to do—the integration of feminine and masculine, and an environment where no one is superior to anyone else. One of the most significant difficulties on the planet right now is the role of men. Because men have been taught not to express any emotion, to hide everything that’s going on inside. When you ask men to work on themselves, not many of them will do it. Because the moment they decide to love themselves, to lift themselves to a higher level of consciousness and evolution, they have to admit there’s something that’s not right. And the very idea that there is something not right makes them feel weak. And when they are weak, they feel they fail. They don’t want to face up to any of that. So they avoid everything that could help them to move into their own evolution. You have some men who are gracefully stepping into that place and embracing their femininity and saying: “Yes, I do need education, I do need instruction, I do need nurturing, I do need touch, I do need a connection with another person”, without putting ideas and labels upon it, but just being present with the feeling of it. Those men are stepping up and I applaud them. But the ones who aren’t are still stuck with the constant need to gratify themselves and saying: “I’m dating a hot girl, look at what I’ve built, look at how much money I make, look at how big my dick is”. None of these things matter. It’s slowing the process of evolution down. Men need to wake up and step into their heart space so women can bring to light the new awareness. And only then can the balance of feminine and masculine be complete. And only then will we have a structure from which to rebuild. We will continue until this foundation is created and the foundation requires men and women to operate equally!