In old cultures, non-technological cultures where the history of the clan was kept alive by storytelling there was frequently a personage responsible for connection to the greater self. He or she was known variously as the shaman, the priestess, the medicine man, the seer or the one of the mysteries.
In all of human culture the contemplation of mystery has been at least equivalent to the contemplation of beauty. Life, beauty and the contemplation of the mystery can be both expanding and to some maddening. The paradox which lies at the base of so many mysteries is intolerable to many. It is much too difficult to hold such differences close to ones self. But it was the shaman who was responsible to the clan to get them to do precisely that: To hold the differences not at bay but close in to the breast, heart and soul it is the challenge; that by holding the mystery, by its very nature creates space – internal space of such an enormity that the small self is lost, thrown into the great abyss of the flow of the world.
That is the duty of the shaman. The shaman is the gatherer of the honey nectar of subtle life. Go out into the field, find a flower and from it pick the standing pistil and bring its base to your lips. Taste the base. You will taste the subtle taste of honey nectar. Ever so subtle, yet when returned to the hive by the bee and concentrated it brings great sweetness. How is this possible? It is said in some schools of mystery that it is the honey bee that is used as the symbol of transformation. That transformation from the subtle taste at the base of flower, to the hive and its honey is the journey of a life transformed. The journey of flower nectar transformed to the honey of life is every man’s journey.