As a simple example, think of an oak tree. This tree is the culmination of so many things—earth, sun, water, air, an acorn blown by the wind or carried by a bird—all of which have worked together to manifest this beautiful creation of art that we call a tree. If you were to take away any one of any of these things, this tree would not exist. The same can be said for you, for all of us, everything. We are a creation of all that has gone before us. Yet the mind clings to the illusion of separateness. But it is only that: an illusion, and the shaman is the one who sees through the illusion to the interconnectivity between all things and beings.
Many of us are lost in the dream for many years before the seed of awakening begins to manifest in us, and when it finally does, it is more akin to a process of unlearning rather than learning. In other words, you have been taught so much, starting when you were very young. You were told your name, who your parents were, where you came from, what you liked and didn’t like, and you agreed with it. In the Toltec tradition, we call this process domestication. Although some forms of domestication can be negative, it’s important to remember that domestication itself is not necessarily negative. It is a normal and necessary process; it is the way we create the Dream of the Planet.
For example, when you were young, your parents likely domesticated you to be respectful and kind to others, to share, and to develop friendships. In this way, they were giving you the tools you need to interact with the Dream of the Planet. The point here is that not all domestication is bad, even though the word itself often carries with it a negative connotation. Other forms of domestication are obviously negative: racism, sexism, and classism are easy examples, and then there are the subtler forms, such as when we adopt ideas like “I must succeed in life to receive love” or “I must have a perfect body in order to receive love.”