The "I" and the Eye

As shamanic practitioners we stress the importance of not focusing on the “I”, commonly referred to as our ego, for the “I” can get us into a muddled place where clarity and the best interests of our client may be lost or misunderstood.  

But ,what about the “eye?”   As a culture, we place great importance and value on what we see in this ordinary world reality we call Earth.   We speak using phrases such as “I see what you are saying” or “I saw that was the truth” and we observe our world experience with the human eye, depending on it for cues and clues about where we are in relationship to other people, animals, landscapes or objects. The eyes provide a great deal of information and a grand view of both the beauty and the suffering of our lives. For people who are not able to see with their eyes, an extrasensory perception and the enhancement of other senses open the possibility of a different every day experience that is equally grand.  

When we develop our gifts on the shamanic path, (like those who are not sighted) we begin to rely less on our body’s eyes as the most favored sense and more on a ‘felt’ or extrasensory perception and experience.

You may have observed and wondered why a modern day Shaman covers her eyes when doing a “journey” on your behalf. Surely, current-day shamans native to their own lands, and our shamanic ancestors, did not have a need to cover their eyes to achieve the essential trance states that allow them to pierce the veil into other dimensions of reality. In our frenetic lives in 21st Century America, however, covering the eyes to achieve the desired state of the shamanic journey is supportive and favored by most shamanic teachers.

The reasoning for the eye covering is, simply put, a gentle reminder to let go of the “eye” while at the same time releasing the “I”.