Living occasionally happens. Constantly staring at one's footfalls when urged forward can cause one to trip. Eyes forward.
The world has been met with great sorrows and joys. Oftentimes, the seeker must feel the weight of betrayal, not as the recipient, but as the merchant of such materials. This essence remains useless when rationalized. The key to endurance is to move forward, fully aware of the transgressions committed, to know what pathways become torn away with each movement while having no idea where these pathways may lead. This step becomes wholly necessary to those who pride themselves in their compassion, as compassion becomes useless when untested and blithely accepted, as with any virtue. To know virtue is painfully to accept an aspect of vice inherent in that decision.
The shaman isn't what most self-help books would have you believe. This isn't an archetype of a mere serene, kindly soul that sits in quiet judgment, dispensing cryptic wisdom while perpetually tending some fire in a tent or childishly jumping around a jungle. These books would have many forget the dangerous, unsentimental and almost callously selfish actions of a person who communes with spirits and the souls of others. A move at the wrong time could set off an animal current of retribution and horror from the shaman. An offer to meddle in his matters could drown an individual in the current of the shaman's lifestream, and trample the person underfoot. Shamans, while often considered healers, contain an equal amount of envenomating, destructive power that can forever cripple a person's soul. This isn't a power to be envied, but a necessary pathway to open when trafficking with beings greater than oneself. To destroy one's own being, one must be reverent of the ability to destroy another. True spiritual power remains unqualified, with no blazing sword to tilt the scale, no black scythe to drag the universe into darkness. These are elements left only to the universe itself, and its manifestations of either merely pebble ripples in an endless ocean of existence that bears more than our senses and instruments will ever truly perceive.
Yet as still, nowhere near any level of proficiency, I choose to walk this dangerous path, to tread amongst the beasts in my soul and hunt amongst the shelves of poisoned, manufactured foods to make sense of the universe as best as it can choose to show me, and with great difficulty carve new languages to understand its message. With no small amount of fear I step forward, knowing that where my foot falls, I shall be annihilated, over and over again, until the atoms of my being forge together to the point of perpetual death and rebirth, with the discipline to bear that explosive energy within my own form.