Certificates and Diplomas In Spiritual Arts, or The Problem of New Age
Imagine that you wish to learn some new spiritual skill, like Reiki or dowsing. You seek classes and teacher, who's certified in the art which you wish to learn. But is he, really? Now, in the world of New Age ideologies and different schools of thoughts, there are many problems related to diplomas and certificates.
Do You Have The Juice In Your Hands?
Even if I truly advice to ask your teacher for diploma in any esoteric art, like Reiki or dowsing, I have to admit that esoteric diplomas are complex matter. Basically, in some schools like Reiki for example, they can prove the teacher is really capable of teaching you something. But on the other hand, in other arts like dowsing, a diploma is nearly useless, or even dangerous. Let me give you an explanation to this based on my own experience.
In the past, I was wondering if I have dowsing predispositions, so I could use dowses and pendulums for different purposes, such as finding lost items, or underground water, or negative energy radiation. I've picked up a pendulum and I've run some tests according to a guidebook I owned. Sufficient to say - all the tests I've run came up negative - I didn't have any dowsing predispositions. Do you think if I would go for a 6-hours dowsing course and get my diploma, things would be different? For $250 USD I would learn everything that I've learned from a second-hand book for $3 USD, but I would not receive any dowsing gift. I would be still unable to use dowses or pendulums. Psychic sensitivity takes time to develop. Perhaps in few years of energy work and psychic development, your sensitivity to psychic energies might be high enough for you to use dowses and pendulums. But no course will turn you into a gifted dowser within days, sorry.
Now there are hundreds if not thousands of dowsing courses all over the world, especially in my homeland, Poland. The result is simple, hundreds or even thousands of dowsers with cool paper on the wall, but with no juice in their hands. They're worthless certificate owners with no real and useful dowsing abilities. A piece of paper won't turn you into psychic overnight.
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Reiki Classes, Yet No Mastership
Let's go back to Reiki for a moment, as I have personal experiences in this field. You can take a one-day Reiki course and become initiated to first Reiki degree. But it won't turn you into Reiki master, no. First, you will have to work with Reiki for many, many months. Then you can take second initiation, and become Level 2 Reiki practitioner. Then, once more you need to work with Reiki for over a year, perhaps even longer. You're still not master, and you cannot teach. Now here's where we get to the problematic part. A lot of Reiki teachers give their students third degree initiation along with teacher course, allowing these fresh "masters" to initate others. But how can a fresh meat initiate others, if he didn't worked with Reiki for few years after his third degree?
My heart hurts when I see people who received third degree initiation a month ago, and they're already initiating others into Reiki practice. This is stupidity! Good thing is, some teachers prefer 3a and 3b degrees, which means first they give third degree initiation, and then after few months, or even years, they teach how to initiate others. There's hope for them yet. Reiki clearly shows that piece of paper isn't enough – because if you won't practice, if you won't work with the energy, then your fresh abilities won't develop any further. They might even disapear over time.
Yet some people think that if they will take a weekend course, they will become Reiki masters, psychics, or shamans. Whoh, that last thing is pretty interesting, because shamanism is quite popular subject these days, especially in my country.
Diploma Makes No Shaman
Sometimes I think that New Age has finally found its way here. What's the problem with shamanism? Sure, you can take a weekend course, learn about your guardian animal, your totem, play tribal drums, and maybe even smoke some sacred leafs, then get awesome certificate that you will use to open up your own shamanic practice. The problem is – a real shaman is being chosen by spirits. And I mean it – literally, by spirits.
Spirits choose a person, approach him or her and take them through shamanic journey to the underworld and back again (if, and I say again, if the person survives). During real shamanic journey there's physical and emotional pain you can't imagine, and there are real spirits, and not just the effects of your guided visualization. I'm sorry, but people who think they're real shamans just because they've smoke some more or less legal stuff are just unaware of the reality of shamanic calling.
Now we have all these practitioners with certificates, yet most of these people are not true practitioners because they don't practice anything. Or maybe they do, but they have no skills to do so. Sure, skills can develop over time, but in such case, what about those who were customers of that "practitioner" during first years of his career?
Cerficates and diplomas are good, but only if they are supported by real skills and real knowledge of their owner. If they're just pieces of paper supported by nothing at all, then they can only generate problems. I've seen these problems – a certificated expert came, played around with a pendulum and put some radionic devices to neutralize negative energies. Three months later, when everyone in the house was tired, ill and sucked out of life energies, another guy came. With no papers, no proofs of his abilities, but he "dowsed" the entire building, removed all the radionic devices, put one spiral in the basement and left. Next day everyone felt just fine. The truth is – you don't have to own a diploma in order to say "I'm a real deal" – because if you have skills, then no paper is needed.