Also for this unit, I am asked to make a list of ethical statements as if I had a waiting room and posted these pledges on the wall. What would mine look like? I thought long and hard about it, and feel that this is merely a rough in progress, because I have quite a bit of growing to do before I’d actually step in and have such a practice, but, these are the initial statements I came up with:
“I promise my clients that I will …
…focus exclusively on the agreed-upon topic under consideration.”
…report, not interpret, the messages the Spirits relay to me.”
…enter partnership with positive intent and positive energy.”
…work to the very best of my ability.”
…maintain strict confidentiality.”
“I can assure my clients my commitment to never …
…work without proper permission.”
…work with intention to harm. I will never use anything I learn in the Otherworld to manipulate or gain unfair advantage.”
…continue to work past your point of comfort.”
…use power to direct someone else’s choices or life.”
This really was an interesting and informative exercise, because I have never really journeyed for anyone else except under FSS workshop conditions, and have never considered doing so. It really helped to think through and articulate this.
In this unit, I’m supposed to consider what a very difficult dilemma would be for me, and how I would handle it.
I’m going to start by talking about what wouldn’t necessarily phase me, and why. There are a few things I’ve faced in acting as a parent figure to my niece, and certainly as a listening ear to my friends and family, that have parallels in the types of scenarios I’d deal with as a practitioner.
Here’s where I *don’t* have a problem:
– Having someone say ‘can you help me fix so-and-so’s life or decisions’
This is easy for me to say ‘NO’. I don’t believe in others trying to control and manipulate the choices of others. Even if it’s their child of any age, unless the kid’s a toddler, it’s up to them to learn their own lessons in life and we have no way of knowing what is best for that person. That person is in charge, not us. It’s so easy and so egotistical to think ‘if so and so would just do this or that, all their problems would be solved. why don’t they listen to me?” Wrong.
– ‘My friend is in trouble and I need you to help them’
This is simliar to the above, but with better intention. This is why I’m uncomfortable at times with my Christian friends who say ‘pray for my so and so who’s in the hospital’. Well, does that person want that? I usually take that to mean ‘I’m so worried about my friend and this is how I need to comfort myself and I hate this helpless feeling so I’m running around asking for people to pray for that person.’ Again, what I usually do is comfort the person asking and then let it go.
– ‘I need you to help me win my boyfriend / husband / significant other back or away from someone else’
NOPE. Again, my life is not build on ‘manipulations r us’. Free will is there for a reason. However, if this person said ‘I need help coping with this situation’, I could approach it with helping the friend manage his or her OWN feelings or behavior, based on dialoging and journeying on that persons’ behalf.
– I also wouldn’t have a problem with journeying on behalf of a client for one issue, but receiving information about something else. I would share only on the topic.
I have a different take on suffering, death, seership and other life experiences. I believe in letting people grow and learn on their own time and in their own way. Each one of them have their own wisdom and timing, and I’m merely a conduit, a catalyst. It’s not up to me to go poking around and presuming.
So, what WOULD bother me?
If the message came from the Spirits. If the power animal I was working with and journeying with on behalf of the client said ‘this is a problem’. Then I face a dilemma. Do I reveal it? I am a conduit, and it’s not my job to interpret; it’s my job to report on the information I receive and let the client run it through their wisdom filter and their own life experiences. So – what is the line between just being a conduit and saying ‘I saw this over here on an unrelated topic?’
The second thing that I would have an enormously difficult time with, is if I viewed the person I was trying to help as somehow being controlling or bullying towards someone else, or they hit an emotional trigger of mine. At that point, if I felt angry or judgmental towards someone, I’d literally have to step back and say ‘I can’t help you’.
I think I want to tease out this lesson for SH101 for myself by thinking through the difference between morals and ethics, and the ramifications of what that means for embodied humans vs. the Otherworld.
It’s kind of like human law vs. spiritual law – they are NOT one and the same, and what is true spirituality and what constitutes breaking spiritual law doesn’t always sync with human law and, well, the crap they pull, and the rules they set up to allow it.
Humans like to think the crap they make up is the same as spritiual law, because in the Abrahamic religions, Man is made in the image of God and well, put here to plunder everything else. Folks that are further along the spiritual continuum relise that plundering the world isn’t really what is meant; think GOOD HUSBANDRY, not ‘use and abuse’. Nevertheless, it puts man in a different category than the rest of the world, instead of smack dab in the middle of the web, interconnected, but not any more special or better than any other creature. But I digress.
Ian Welsh in his ‘Ethics 101’ says, very succinctly, ‘ethics’ is how you treat people you don’t know, and ‘morals’ is how you treat people you do know. Ethics is for the wider, faceless society, a group norm that is applied on a large scale. Morals are personal, face-to-face dealings.
Most definitions of these things have a great deal of overlap, but that’s the best understanding I can grasp at this time.
So, is there ramifcations for us here in the Otherworld? Of course – Ethically, I conduct myself with thought to greater impact in the worlds I journey, in how I conduct myself as a human moving through that space, and being mindful and respectful that I’m not ‘making things up’ and ‘imagining things’ and therefore, the beings I interact with, the landscape I traverse, must be treated with the same respect I offer to my boss or my partner or my child or my home.
Morally, the beings and places I create relationship with in the Otherworld are respectfully acknowledged as existing in their own right and with the same Ghosti principles I would treat any other friend.