Everybody’s constantly being destroyed and rebuilding themselves, some more drastically than others.~Michael Shannon
Destruction Of Ego
Most cultures and spiritual paths in the past had an initiation that involved the destruction of the self so that a person could be remade by the gods,spirits, ancestors or whomever else homage was paid to.
Of course, we’re not talking about actual destruction! Don’t go cutting off limbs and expect Doug or me to sew them back on… We can hardly manage buttons on our shorts.
This initiation was sometimes reserved for holy people or shamans, but it can be used by anyone.
I’ve used different versions of this process to symbolically disassemble myself, remove parts I didn’t want and remake a new me.
This process can be a bit disturbing at first. Humans in general are squeamish about death, even the metaphorical kind. It’s important to not fear death and destruction of self though, because it’s the natural progression of our lives.
Below, I’ll present an exercise that’s based on shamanic practices from various cultures. I’ve simplified some of it, mashed it together and present it as something new. Give it a try!
Make yourself into what you want to be.
Enter the opening you envisioned and descend downward. Keep going until you emerge into your inner space.
Become comfortable where you are, and relax some more.
Imagine shedding your skin. Peel it off like a snake… There’s no pain or even discomfort. Remove your skin completely and drop it in a pile.
Pull of your muscles and add them to the pile. Visualize each piece, your bicep, forearm, jaw muscles coming away from the bones until you’re flesh free.
Take out each organ, one at a time. Examine them and add them to the pile.
Now remove each bone from your body and add to the growing heap of you. Continue until there’s nothing left but your consciousness which is observing this process.
Pile some wood onto the pile of you. Imagine setting it afire… It burns until there is nothing left but ash. See yourself reduced to ash…
Visualize a stream of water working its way towards the ash. Imagine the water soaking the ash, mixing with the ground and turning to mud and clay.
Start rebuilding your bones with the clay. Allow only good and positive elements to be used in the construction. Continue until your skeleton is complete.
Add your organs… Now your muscles… Give your attention to creating each piece and placing it where it goes.
Form new skin for yourself and place it on your frame.
You have destroyed yourself and remade yourself as you wish to be…