When you find your darkness you will know. It’s like you have found your roots. Now you have come home. Now the whole light of the world cannot do any harm to the darkness. Just a flicker of darkness is more powerful than all the light in the universe. Darkness is our root. That’s where our power lies; that’s where the truth is. The light to our planet comes from an outside source. It comes from the sun. Earth is a dark planet. We need to connect with that darkness. (Utan Poro)
To contact Utan Poro and to find out about his sessions call: call 415-994-6853 or email: email@example.com.
[Photos taken in the Northern California location where Utan Poro holds feeling arranger sessions.]
Interview with Utan Poro by Naena Potti
First appeared in Sakala Quarterly, 2011
When we arrange our feelings do we feel different? How would I feel?
I could explain everything we do in our sessions, but it wouldn’t mean anything until you go through it, until you experience it. And to fully experience life, anything, you need to arrange your feelings. You, yourself, has to feel it. When it happens you will know, you will feel it.
After we arrange our feelings will it be hard to live in this society, in this system? Would we feel like we are out of step?
No. In fact, you will be able to do everything in this society, in this system, without any effort. Everything will become much easier. This system we live in is nothing, it’s just emptiness. It’s not very intricate as we think it is. You will come to realize how unnatural, untrue, this system is. Once you arrange your feelings you are not in it anymore. You are looking at it from the outside. And you will start to see everything that you saw as normal before as unnatural, as idiotic. And you had to go through years of training, of schooling, to become unnatural, to become what we have become, and to do what we have done to ourselves and to the planet we live in. You won’t be out of step when your feelings are arranged, but they will be out of step with you. It’s not like we are trying to live a different lifestyle. It’s more like, whatever we do it’ll be full. It won’t be partial. It will be total. It will be whole. It will be sound; it will be natural. It will make you happy. It will make you healthy, more beautiful. When I say more, you are already more, all of that, but now it will come out. Because once you arrange your feelings you will find yourself, your original face. You will be total. All of you will be 100%. Whatever you do will be of you, and it will be original and total.
In the sessions you do, do we set a goal and work towards it? When you say total, what does it mean?
When we say we need to do it wholeheartedly or totally, it’s not like we set a goal and work towards it. It’s not something we try to achieve. Arranging our feelings does not mean we are all perfect or it doesn’t mean we are better. Arranging our feelings means we find ourselves totally, we become natural. Natural is truth; we are now a lie. When we find our original self, when we do anything we will do it totally. Now we are not all total. Like if you are in love or if you are angry or if you are dancing or singing, you are half heartedly doing it. When your feelings are arranged, when you are in love you will be in love. If you are angry, then you will be angry. When you sing, you will be really singing. See, once we arrange our feelings whatever we do we will do it whole, total, you will do it freely, openly. We will not repress anything, try to hide anything or hold back. So when you are doing whatever you are doing—singing, drawing, loving—the people around you will feel it. Total means giving it all away, not holding back anything, your anger or your love or time. If you don’t do whatever you do totally, that means you are holding back, you are repressing your feelings. When you do that it will make you neurotic. It will make you psychotic. We need to become vulnerable. We need to open up. Everyone in this society lives a closed life. We live in fear. The fear of exposure, the fear of becoming vulnerable, the fear of one’s nakedness. One goes hiding oneself, creating walls around oneself. When you arrange your feelings all the walls start collapsing.
Do you mean that in this society that we live in we don’t do anything totally?
No, we don’t. Because our feelings are so disarranged we don’t do anything in total. We are trained not to do anything in total. This system does not let you go to the deep end or the darkest darkness or the brightest light. Because our feelings are disarranged we are not totally passionate. We don’t love crazily. We don’t really get angry. We don’t sing totally. We don’t dance totally. So whatever we do is not going to work out. And you don’t feel full, you feel empty. And you keep looking, you keep searching. Until you arrange your feelings and set your bones and change your skin you will not find it. Never ever. Once you arrange your feelings, everything that is wrong, that’s unharmonious, starts going away. All that makes you whole, healthy, makes you feel happy, loving, kind, grows and thrives in you. People want to experience ecstasy, feel love. But we cannot experience ecstasy, love, or anything totally. Only when your feelings get arranged and your original self is there will you experience ecstasy.
How do you know when your feelings are arranged? What are the signs that it has happened?
It comes in steps. It’s not like switching a light on and off. Here’s light now and the light is gone. It’s more like how the sun keeps going down and the night comes slowly, gradually. It’s like that. And when you go to the darkest point, then you have transformed, you have found your center. You will feel it, you will know. But it doesn’t stop there. It keeps opening up to another light, to another darkness. And it keeps going on and on. It’s not like now your feelings are arranged and now you have solved everything and you stop searching. It just keeps going, but we have not even reached our center yet and to go to the darkest point in us, to go beyond that darkness to the other side, to the unknown, the unseen. It’s darkness and then light again and then darkness. But we need to start somewhere and start going in that direction. That’s the first step. Keep going, not waiting for immediate results. The results will never come suddenly. It’s a gradual thing.
Do some people get there faster than others?
Yes. Some will find the center faster, your darkness faster. If you’re already on that path, because you have already made a turning, you have already been going in a different direction. But now it will get more focused. We won’t be able to arrange our feelings overnight. Not all of us, maybe some, maybe a few. But now we have to start going that way, we are moving in that direction of arranging our feelings.
What about doing hallucinogenic drugs? Do they help to find your center?
That’s like a shortcut. It doesn’t really work. It’s just temporary. You will feel like you have arranged your feelings. You will feel like you have crossed over to the other world to the unknown, to the unseen, but you haven’t. When you come back to your regular mind state you’re back to where you started. You have not really arranged your feelings or crossed over to the other world. When you arrange your feelings you are able to cross over to the other world whenever you want, without any help from hallucinogenics. You can go back any forth any time you want. When you take a hallucinogenic and when you come out of the effects of it, it’s not like you are more clear or you have arranged your feelings or you have found your center or found all the answers. It’s like you are in more of a confusion. You go into your center or the darkest point only when you have arranged your feelings.
At this time people are uncertain about everything. What is becoming of our planet? What does the future hold for humans?
Planet Earth will go on in one form or the other. Our life is in the mouth of death. What can you do about it? Is there anything to stop yourself from getting eaten? When you arrange your feelings, set your bones, change your skin, you will find deep in you a life, more real than this life, more real than death. When you arrange your feelings you will find truth, another life. It’s the eternal life. Existence is eternal and you are part of it. You don’t need to do anything. It’s in you. Because your feelings are disarranged you don’t know that you have this eternal life. The only reason you don’t know you have it or understand it or feel it is because your feelings are disarranged. When your feelings are arranged your uncertainty disappears.
You keep talking about moving into the darkness, to the darkest point. Most people say move from darkness to light. What do you mean when you say moving into darkness?
When you find your darkness you will know. It’s like you have found your roots. Now you have come home. Now the whole light of the world cannot do any harm to the darkness. Just a flicker of darkness is more powerful than all the light in the universe. Darkness is our root. That’s where our power lies; that’s where the truth is. The light to our planet comes from an outside source. It comes from the sun. Earth is a dark planet. We need to connect with that darkness.
You say that all people were shamans and healers at one time in primitive societies. What do you mean?
You could say we were all feeling arrangers. All of us can heal ourselves without going to a shaman or a healer. It’s like a shaman or a healer now—a feeling arranger is really the original shaman. Arranging your feelings is the most original way of healing ourselves and others. but in every culture they have a different name for healers. Shamanism, as we know today is primitive but not really primitive as we think. It is really a modern way of healing ourselves. Shamanism came after humans started hunting. Originally all humans were gatherers. Originally there was nothing like a healer or a shaman. We were feeling arrangers. All of us could arrange our feelings when our feelings had got disarranged. Only when hunting came did the feeling arranger take the form of a shaman. That was a different way of healing that humans had when they were still gatherers. The way a shaman heals is very different from the way a feeling arranger heals you, or what I do.
You’re saying that a different type of healing was needed once we started hunting?
Right. When we started hunting our feelings got rearranged. Our feelings were arranged in a certain ways when we were gatherers, when we were not killing animals. When we started eating meat psychologically it effected us too. And that opened us up for a lot of different sicknesses, psychological and physical both. When we started hunting different illnesses came. We were feeling guilty for killing animals. Animals are like our brothers and sisters. You might have a wild pig living nearby, and suddenly you kill it for meat. You start feeling sick and guilty about it, so our feelings got disoriented. At that point, from the original feeling arranger the shaman was born. But the point is, at that time everyone, all original people were feeling arrangers, or like we say now, shamans. All people were able to heal people and heal ourselves, just the way a tree heals itself. You go and cut a branch, you don’t need a doctor—come back in 3 months and tree is healed. Cut another branch and it also heals itself. Same with animals—they can heal themselves. They don’t need a healer or a shaman. It’s like the way the earth heals itself. People think humans are different, but we’re no different from an animal or a tree. We are all from the same source. Just like the tree or the animals or the earth, we have all the power and everything necessary to heal ourselves.
Do you mean healing in the physical sense or emotional? Often people go to a shaman when they are emotionally out of balance or when they are possessed by evil spirits.
The original people, all of us, we dealt with both worlds as one. It’s not really two different worlds—the unseen energy and the seen energy, the physical and metaphysical, negative and positive. In the physical I could hit you and you feel the impact. In the same way, a negative feeling that I have about you can come and hit you like an arrow. It can hurt you, it can make you sick, it can even kill you. But we have lost touch with that side now. We are all about the physical now. Everything we do is physical. Everything is about what we see, what we hear. When you arrange your feelings you’ll start feeling, you’ll start seeing the other side, what you call the unseen or the unknown, you will move into your center. We have forgotten about the other world, the unseen forces. There are no two worlds, everything is here, everything is one. The negative and the positive are both the same. We have forgotten how to cross over really.
Exactly what does it mean to arrange our feelings?
When people are born they are in harmony with their surroundings, and their feelings are set to that. If you’re born in Ethiopia or Laos or Nepal, your feelings are set to function in those places. If it’s a tropical country or a desert or up north in the Arctic, your feelings are arranged for that environment. Like I said, at first we were all gatherers and our feelings were set up for that lifestyle. But when we became hunters and herders, and later on when we began agriculture and settling in one place our whole lifestyle changed from a nomadic foraging way of living. Sometimes our feelings could get disarranged and you would need to put it together. It’s like you have your house. You’re doing a lot of work, you’re busy and the whole house gets disarranged. You can’t get anything done because you don’t know where your knife is, you can‘t find your ax, where the salt is, the chili powder is missing. So one day you decide to put the house back together so you can function better. So you take that day and you rearrange your house. You put everything where it belongs so you know where to find it when you need it. Same with us, we need to be rearranged. Now we’re all confused. But we don’t need a specialist to put our house back together. We don’t need a healer to fix it. We can do it. We are able to put our house back together.
I hadn’t heard the term “feeling arranger” before. Can you define it?
Everything in life is a feeling. The whole of existence is a feeling. If everything is a feeling and the feelings get disarranged then nothing is going to function well because everything is growing from that. At this time all of our feelings are disarranged. We’re living at a time when nothing is working, nothing until we arrange our feelings, put our feelings back to our original state. It doesn’t matter what you do, where you go, what you eat, who you love. Until you arrange your feelings nothing will work. It just can’t work.
The word “feeling arranger”, is that a word you came up with? Do you think you’re the only person who is a feeling arranger?
I’m not saying I’m the only one. Feeling arranger is what I call myself. The name feeling arranger, it’s something I came up with. That’s the way that I show people how to heal themselves. There are probably others doing what I’m doing, but maybe using a different name than feeling arranger. There are other people who have arranged their feelings, but I haven’t met them yet. I have met many amazing people, but I have not yet met a human who had their feelings arranged in modern society. There are people, but I have not met them yet. I’m sure they are somewhere, and they might be living in a remote forest somewhere. Maybe they could live in London or Tokyo or Antananarivo for all I know.
Feeling usually means emotion. Is that what you mean when you say feeling? It sounds like you’re talking about something more, like all energy.
Feeling is everything. You feel you’re hungry. You feel love. You feel you want to go to the river to play. You feel like climbing a tree and looking at the moon. You feel like singing. Everything we do comes from a feeling. The root of us is feeling. If the roots are all disarranged or tangled or not in the ground then nothing works.
Right now in the world where we live is everything chaotically disarranged? Why?
Because we have gone so far away from the origins of our roots, our roots are uprooted now. We need to put ourselves back into earth. We feel like we are so far away from fixing ourselves, but we are not. A lot of people feel we have lost everything. We have lost all our original wisdom, we have lost all our ancient ways, we have lost our connection to earth, and we can never get back to what we were. But nothing has been lost. We’re just one step away from being our original selves. It’s all still here and it will always be here. To find our original selves, live naturally, is really nothing. It’s our birthright. If I love someone and it’s really hard work to be with that person, then that’s not right. If you want to be a poet and it’s a real struggle to write poetry, then it’s not for you. You should do something else. It should be easy and fun and natural. It should be a relief and not work. If you live in a house and work a full time job and you still can’t pay your bills, make ends meet, then something is wrong. Whatever you are doing is wrong. Everything in this society is really wrong. Everything.
Including the psychological issues, meaning people might have everything we need physically, but we’re not happy or at peace with ourselves or other people or nature.
Right. I’ve been talking about the physical side. We haven’t even touched on that side the physical side, which is a big part of us. But that falls into bone setting and skin changing, which we will talk about later. And we are so far away from it. But, we are not far. Once we arrange our feelings, whenever we get disarranged we can put it back into our original selves in a flash. With a snap of your finger you’re back, you’re connected, you’re healed, once you arrange your feelings.
What is the difference between a feeling arranger and a shaman?
There is a big difference between a feeling arranger and a shaman. I am not a shaman like a modern shaman. Shamanism comes from the roots of a feeling arranger. What I do, it has no cultural background. It doesn’t come from any tradition. Like I said, we all are feeling arrangers. But the problem we have now is we have forgotten how to arrange our feelings. So what we do in our sessions is we show you how to arrange your feelings, how to find your center, find your darkness. When you go through our sessions it will just happen naturally, you’ll come to your center, you will come to your darkest point. It’s common to everyone. In modern society when you go to a shaman for healing you might sign up for three sessions to get healed, and if that doesn’t work you might return for more sessions. The modern shaman is like a doctor. A feeling arranger will help you to arrange your feelings, so you find your center and you heal yourself from thereon. You don’t need to keep coming back again and again.
So the feeling arranger shows you how to arrange your feelings, so you will be able to heal yourself?
Right. When you get sick and go to the doctor, you get medicine, maybe you get cured and you’re thankful to the doctor. Same with a shaman—a shaman heals you and you feel better. Six months later something is disarranged in you and you go back and pay another $200 to get healed again. A feeling arranger is different because we go into the roots. Once you understand about your feelings and you figure out to arrange your feelings, you don’t have to keep coming back. Even me, my feelings also get disarranged. I also have to get my feeling arranged. If I clean my house, you still have to maintain. Even the best healer on earth has to clean house, just like you do. In our sessions we show you how to arrange your house, how to arrange your feelings. Once you know how to arrange your feelings you don’t have to keep coming back. You yourself become a feeling arranger. It’s a big difference.
In original societies certain people were the healers. Why would someone take that role if everybody can do it?
In modern society you have a plumber, a carpenter, a woodcutter, a tailor. That’s their specialty and that’s all they know. So if something else goes wrong in their lives they have to hire someone. We live in a different society now from the way we used to live. You have to pay to get anything done. And if you’re not a specialist in one field it’s not considered a good thi
ng. You’re supposed to be a specialist in one certain thing in this society. The Western school system is set for that. Originally we all played all roles in life. A woman can do what a man does and a man can do what a woman does. In the same way that a woman takes care of children and makes food, a man could do the same thing in an original society. Maybe he doesn’t do that all the time, but he knows how. Same with all different skills—all people knew how to do everything they needed to live. But there still were specialists even in an original society. There were people who are better at doing certain things. There were feeling arrangers. If you had a tribe of 30 people, certain people were better at healing or certain people were better at drumming or singing or storytelling.
But what you’re saying is it happens naturally. It’s not forced on you or you have to struggle in the school system for years to become it.
Yes, say in a family you have 5 children. They’ll all grow up together in the same environment seeing their parents making food, dancing, cutting wood, putting their house together, and they’ll all learn how to do these things. But as they develop you’ll see that one child is better at cooking, one child is better at dancing, one likes to draw. Same way, one is a better healer. Everyone in the tribe can drum, but one child is an exceptional drummer. When you’re doing a big ritual that needs drummers you’re going to get that one person to do the drumming. There were specialists in that way. That’s why there were feeling arrangers, there were healers in original societies.
We were talking about killing animals, hunting and eating meat. Aren’t you also taking a life when you pull a stalk of celery from the earth and eat it?
The way food is being harvested in industrial farming is also wrong. It’s very similar to killing an animal to be eaten as meat. But the original people, when they gathered their food they never killed anything. They would go to a tree or a plant and break off fruits that are ripe or fallen to the ground. Or when they would go to a plant they would not pull the whole plant out. Like if you go to Sri Lanka you will see that even now in the village. And even with the city people, they only break off a few leaves. They don’t pull the whole plant out. But now even in Sri Lanka with the Western influence, we are starting to do the same thing. It’s happening all over the world. Our original food is the fruit. In a tree the function of the fruit is to carry seeds away from the tree to plant and grow. A bird or a monkey or human takes the fruit when it’s ripe—if they don’t take this fruit it’s going to fall and go back to the earth. If the fruit falls under the tree the tree is unhappy because right under a tree a new tree cannot grow. The seed has to travel away from the tree in order to grow. That’s why the fruit is so beautiful and sweet and tastes good, to attract animals to take it away from the tree and eat it. When we eat the fruit from the tree we are working within the harmony of existence. It’s the same with cucumbers, eggplants, all kinds of fruits.
What about roots and greens?
In modern society they plant greens and when they want to harvest it they take the whole plant out. They kill it and then plant again the next season. The original people, we would take a few leaves instead of the whole plant, and those leaves would otherwise die sometime anyway. When we ate roots or tubers, it’s the same way. We would pull the plant out and take a piece of the root and then put it back into the earth. And the plant would live on. And if you look at original people, primitive people they’re very lean, very skinny. They did not overeat like people do now. It’s like a person now is like 3 – 4 people from an original society. In an original society we didn’t consume 30% of the food a person consumes now. Same with everything. Original people used very little resources to live. They mostly lived outside; and they worked around the sun coming up and the sun going down, and with the changing of the weather. Now if you are lean or skinny, when you go to a doctor the doctor will tell you you are underweight. Even if you are really healthy and haven’t been sick for years—like if you see a film or a photograph of primitive people—I’m talking about a long time ago, not the ones who are here now. Primitive people were skinny because of the way they ate. You might tell me that you were with Aborigine people in Australia or you were with Bambuti people in the African rainforest, and they just pulled a whole plant out and ate it. Well, the Aborigines are not original anymore. Their feelings are disarranged now like everyone else because of the Western influence. They’re not the same as Aborigines that lived a thousand years ago. Civilization, this system that we live in
has been pushed and forced onto all people of the world. This system has penetrated to every form of life and all people who live on earth now. When we see primitive societies now it’s not the way it was. Same with the ¡Kung people of the Kalihari Desert or the Veddas of Sri Lanka, same with the Bambuti people of the African rainforest. Original people were not hunters, were not killers. We used something and they used us. Everything was in perfect harmony. But now, even if we only eat vegetables we’re killing plants. Originally we were gathering food, and then when we started eating meat we started getting sick because we had started introducing something unnatural to our bodies. And to this very day a lot of the sicknesses come from that, from killing and domesticating animals and eating meat. We hadn’t even come to agriculture at that point. And when you look at a tree or an animal they don’t use any tools. A deer never uses tools, a bear doesn’t use tools, a tree doesn’t use tools. A hunter uses tools—a bow, an arrow, a stick. Once you start to use tools you have walked away from your original self. Then your feelings get disarranged. We are born into existence with a body that is our tool—our hands, our fingers, our feet, our eyes. Everything we need we have in our bodies. If we need a tool in order to do something than it’s not natural.
I see. So the fact that we don’t have claws and fangs as people who eat fruits and plants is because we don’t need those to live.
We don’t need it. All of us live in a very unnatural world now. If you are using any kind of made tools it is unnatural. If you use a knife or a spear or a hammer it’s unnatural. Anything we use that we have made. It’s not our original self.
I understand. What I’m wondering is if original people living in a natural way needed to have their feelings arranged at times?
Yes, like I said before. Still your house can get out of order. It doesn’t matter how you’re living, you sometimes need to arrange your feelings.
When we started hunting and living an unnatural life we disarranged our feelings, and that’s why we started needing a shaman?
Right. When humans started eating meat they felt guilty. To hunt they started using bows and arrows and traps and spears to kill animals or catch fish. You kill an animal and you eat the meat and you’re feeling bad that you had to kill and eat this. For sure, maybe something happened in the area you lived. All the plant life died, so for you to survive you had to kill animals for food or go to the river with a net to catch fish. It could have happened in many different ways, how we began hunting, how we began fishing. The only option you had was to hunt an animal or a bird or catch fish to survive, but still you feel bad because we were doing something unnatural. Then in the society there would be a few people who had a deeper understanding. A lot of them were older people. They would rather starve than hunt. These people became the shamans of the society. They stood apart from the crowd. People were getting sick from eating meat and from the guilt of killing. More than from eating the meat it was the guilt that made people get sick. Because when you started hunting, killing animals, your feelings got disarranged. The shamans were not participating in that, so they became the healers of society.
In the same way mystics in a lot of cultures don’t eat meat. The mystics know meat is not necessary for our survival, to live, and they feel more spiritually tuned when they don’t eat meat.
A mystic is very different from a shaman, but their roots are the same. They both came from feeling arrangers. Both are healers. Anyway we are all feeling arrangers. When people would go to the shaman, the shaman would see that your feelings are disarranged. They would do a ritual to put you back in shape. There are many ways that you can arrange a person’s feelings so you become whole again; you get healed. OK, say some kind of a demon has entered you, some other force has possessed you. Possession can mean that you had a feeling but now another feeling has entered you. This feeling is an unnatural feeling. A shaman might say you are possessed by a demon. In original societies we didn’t say it like that. The main thing is that you are feeling bad and because of this you get sick. A lot of shamans don’t really heal you, but they make you feel better. A healer should show you how to heal yourself and find your center so you don’t have to keep coming back. What most shamans do is pacify you for a time. They don’t go to the roots and tell you that for you to get healed all the way you will need to change your lifestyle. You leave the shaman feeling better, but you were not really healed. You never found your center. The next day you go hunting, you kill another animal and start feeling bad again. And quickly your feelings have gotten disarranged again. After a while our original feelings got dulled and other feelings took over. Your original feelings have got disarranged and you don’t even know who you are anymore, how it used to be and what you have become. A feeling arranger, what he does is he helps you remember your original self, who you were, how we used to live, and what happened to us. You don’t remember what it was to be well, so you don’t know why you’re feeling sick, why you’re feeling empty. People are totally off balance. Their feelings are disarranged. Their bones are not set right. They don’t have their original face. This is not a sound society. This is not a society of people in rhythm with natural life. if we were in rhythm we wouldn’t be doing 99% of what we’re doing right now.
It’s not only from killing animals that people in this society are sick, is it?
That was the roots. Everything we do now has grown out of hunting, killing animals, followed by agriculture, domestication of animals, industrialization, to the modern digital world we live in. It all started with hunting. If you think of godly or the most sublime power—what two things happen to us in life, to a tree or an animal. Two things that created the third. What two things make the three?
First comes giving birth to a child, making new life. You are born, you grow, and you give birth to a new life. There are two things that make the three. The first is birth. If I want a son or a daughter, I have no power over this. If I want a child who is tall or has a long nose, I have no power of it. Only the birth is promised to us. The other thing promised to us is death. Between birth and death the third happens, which is life. Birth and death makes life. Those are the only things that are given. Now when a person takes it in their hands to take another life, there’s nothing more damaging than that. Now you are dealing with the three, the third. That is the ultimate. I don’t even have words to explain how bad it is to take someone else’s life. You are taking life out of that body, the breath out of another person. Only existence makes and takes life. Only existence deals with the third. If you and me and everybody takes that step of taking one’s life, we are going against the rhythm of life. There is more to it, but it’s something like that.
For humans. But for a predatory animal that could be perfectly natural.
It’s very natural, yes. Everything is in its place in existence. Everything is perfect, everything is truth. A leopard or a lion will kill to eat, but if you study the leopard his killing is very important. It’s a necessary thing in nature. To balance out, see everything about certain animals who kill to eat, existence created them for it—the way they are formed, their claws, their teeth, their ears. A fruit tree is born to create flowers, honey, leaves, fruits. Each being has their role. If a tree takes the role of a fox, a crocodile or a crow, there’s something wrong. If a human kills another animal or tries to be like a tree there’s something wrong. We don’t need to eat meat to survive. We’re fruit eaters. We’ll eat some nuts, some leaves, but our main food is fruit. So when we kill to eat it disarranges our feelings. We fall out of balance. When we became hunters, killers, from our original selves as gatherers, that’s when our feelings got rearranged. That’s when we went on the wrong path. That was the beginning all of our problems. That’s why we need to go to healers. A lot of people say people made the first big mistake when they started doing agriculture, but the first step was when we became hunters. That’s when we started taking the role of the gods. What I mean by god is existence. We were dealing with that “three” here. The three is not for us to meddle with. When you take a life, can you also bring it back? If you’re a person who can take life and give life also, then you’re OK. We can’t do it. We know how to kill but we don’t know how to give life back. I’m not talking about giving birth to a child. That’s very different. So that’s why shamanism began. But shamanism, even in the modern world is just a pacifier. The shaman doesn’t heal you completely. The shaman doesn’t know because the shaman’s feelings are also disarranged. You first have to find your center, your own darkness, to heal someone else.
Do you mean modern shamanism in America, or everywhere?
Everywhere. The shamanism in modern society is just not real, at least from what I have seen. It’s more like going on a holiday. There are shaman classes where they go on boat trips to Hawaii or go to Peru to take Ayahuasca or go to Sri Lanka to see a fire walking ritual. It’s a holiday. Now you can tell your husband or your wife, “I’m really sick. I need to go to South America for 6 weeks,” but it’s just a holiday. Poor people who get sick can’t go to Peru to get healed or go to Africa. It’s only people from Western countries like France or Australia or America that go on trips like that. When you go to a shaman these days you don’t see people from Africa or Sri Lanka or Madagascar there, they can’t afford it. It’s a holiday and when you come back you’re not healed. You spent $5000 and had an adventure. OK, you had a fine time, but you’re not healed. But with a feeling arranger, you don’t have to go to Africa or Guyana or India. We can do it here. You could live in the city and arrange your feelings.
So what do you do when you heal people? What is your approach?
With feeling arranging we do it different, it’s a different ritual that you do. Arranging your feelings is very basic, very simple. Like giving birth to a child, it’s like chopping wood. It’s like boiling water for tea. Healing ourselves is as simple as going to the river and bathing or going up the mountain to gather fruits. It’s another regular function we used to do. You go to the river to bathe and play. You need sleep so you go to sleep. When your feelings get disarranged you arrange your feelings. It’s nothing special or scary or strange or exotic like how modern society sees shamanism. Now shamanism has become something so mysterious and strange to people. There’s no mystery in it like that. It’s not magic like the magic you know. Is there any magic in going to bathe in the river? It’s just an ordinary function. Is there magic in going to a tree to eat fruit?
Yes, everything is magical if you look at it. Everything is magical.
Everything is magical, but not in the context that you think. Not with all the hype.
The shamans here make the process of healing seem mysterious, untouchable, unknowable. They keep everything hidden.
They make it seem like that, like only the shaman knows how to heal you. And it’s unknown and mysterious, and he has gone through many long years of training and struggle to be a shaman. So he is special. He is mysterious. He can travel between both worlds, things like that. They put him in this mysterious higher place. Arranging your feelings, healing yourself, it’s not any big special thing. When we do feeling arranging what we do is very basic, very natural. We use drawing, singing, chanting, storytelling, dancing, riddles, all of these things that the original people, our ancestors, used to do to put our feelings back together. And our sessions are not only for adults or for the wife or for the husband. It’s for children too and we encourage to bring the whole family. Imagine when you were a little child how scared you were when you had to go to the doctor. You’re thinking of getting a shot and bitter medicine, and the sterile rooms. I get sick when I just go into a hospital. I could be perfectly healthy and if I go to a hospital to see someone I start to feel sick, just to feel that atmosphere. Is that a place you go to get healed? The original people in original societies, we healed ourselves by dancing, by singing, by doing drawings, by drumming, by telling stories and exchanging riddles. Whatever you call entertainment now is how we heal people. When you entertain yourself, when you feel happy, when you feel joy, when you dance, that’s how we arrange your feelings, by these things that the modern world calls entertainment. We entertain you and put your feelings together. All of the sessions we do are about having fun. It’s like a festival.
The people who come to get healed, do they also participate in the rituals or do they just watch?
You have to participate in the rituals to get healed. You have to become part of it 100%. When you go to a Western doctor you don’t do anything. The doctor looks at you, the nurse tells you something, they give you medicine. You’re not taking part in your healing. You’re role is passive.
You’re not allowed to participate.
You’re not allowed. In our way of healing you are 100% part of the healing process. Nobody can heal you. You have to heal yourself. In original societies when we have a ritual or ceremony, you sing and dance. Everyone does that. Just last year when I was in Sri Lanka I was at the beach and there were circles of young boys and girls. As you walk down the beach they would circle you and tell you to come do a song. You’d become a part of the circle. Then you’re in the middle with all of the boys and girls around you and you start dancing and singing. Now you’re the star. Next thing a girl steps into the center and starts dancing and she’s the star. In the original societies everyone was a star. It’s not like the feeling arranger is the star and everyone comes to watch and get healed. But remember it’s really up to you. You need to take part in it 100%. You need to let yourself go. You need to feel the power and know that you are a star also and you are beautiful and original. In our original societies we were taking part in everything we do. If we are cooking, if we are giving birth, you’re not alone in this. It’s not like the woman is giving birth to a baby and the man is somewhere else doing something else. You’re right there in it, giving birth to the child. Everything has gotten disarranged. The whole function of the feeling arranger is to put these feelings back into their original place. Everything we do here in our sessions is so we can go back to our original form.
What do you mean when you say that everything is a feeling?
The main reasons that we get sick is because our feelings are so disarranged. We do certain things that society has trained us to do, trained us to see, trained us to feel. For instance, I couldn’t believe when I saw how people here would see a spider and without thinking just kill it. Children, adults, they see any kind of insect and they immediately kill that insect, thinking that’s their enemy. They would see a little mouse and the first thing they would say is that mice bring disease. So kill it, poison it. When you kill that spider or that little mouse you’re taking a life. You took a whole life, and that’s going to effect you whether you know it or not, whether you like it or not. It’s beyond your control. You think it’s nothing? Let’s say you go to war and you get trained that that’s your enemy and you kill that person. It doesn’t matter if you were trained to kill someone, maybe you don’t feel guilty but that action has happened. Your society may accept what you did because the society we live in says that in a war it’s OK to kill your enemy, but existence doesn’t see it that way. Existence is blind to unnatural ways of living that have been created by people after we adopted the system called civilization. No matter what, you took that person’s life, you took the spider’s life. We are trained that it’s OK to kill the deer or cut a tree down. That’s the training we have. And because our feelings are totally disarranged we feel it’s OK. But in existence it’s not OK. Existence doesn’t see it like that.
There is always some life that gets lost as we move around. You can’t avoid it. You’re talking more about intentional killing?
Right. Like if you’re running down the mountain or walking to the river and you step on a spider. Or if you’re sitting there and something bites you and you brush it away and it gets crushed. That’s not what I’m talking about. I mean when people make a choice to take a life and do it, unnecessarily killing another life form because the system you live in says it’s OK. It’s a certain training, a certain mind state I’m talking about. Like how people in Western society have such a negative outlook on animals or nature like it’s something to be controlled. It’s like your enemy. It’s there only as food for you, to be killed, poisoned or tamed.
You’re saying that just because it’s accepted in a society doesn’t mean that it’s OK.
That’s what I’m saying. If you’re in an original society people don’t kill animals for no reason, not like we do here. Because their feelings are more arranged than they are here. Our feelings here are totally disarranged. It doesn’t matter what religion you are, whether you’re Buddhist or into Yoga or you’re a Sufi, until you arrange your feelings to the original way nothing will work. First we need to put our feelings to original self. Until we do that nothing is going to work. We will never come up with the solutions to any of our problems. We’re only going to get more confused and more disarranged and more confused. We’re going to keep destroying the earth and creating more problems.
People who are seeking answers through meditation or yoga or by joining different movements for change, don’t you think that they are seeking that same thing you’re talking about? Who’s to say they won’t get there by a different road?
It’s good they’re seeking, and from seeking or exploring different paths they might find themselves. They might find the original way of living. But whatever you do, until you arrange your feelings it’s not going to happen. Maybe you might come close, but you’re not ever going to find out who you are, your original face, or totally heal yourself. What do you think they are seeking?
They’re seeking to be in balance and to be healthy, to be arranged.
The only person who is going to see it is—if you have a book and you’re trying to read it, if you don’t know the language you can’t read the book. You can try and try and you might think you’re reading the book, but you need to know the language that the book was written in. Once you know the language then you can read the book. Until then, you can do Yoga, you can be a Zen Buddhist, you can be a Sufi mystic or a Rasta, but you are not reading the book.
In all of these different methods that people use to try to heal themselves there are teachers. You’re saying that the teachers are not arranged so they can’t help you to arrange yourself?
Yes. A lot of the teachers here and a lot of the shamans and mystics, their feelings are disarranged. They are not really healing you. We have been having shamans and mystics and gurus and different religions for centuries, but the situation of the world has not gotten better. It has got worse and it’s getting more worse. So whatever they’re teaching is disarranged. It’s not coming from a sound place, it’s not in rhythm. If you are a healer you have to arrange your feelings first of all.
You say you’re a feeling arranger, but you also talk about the bone setter and skin changer. Can you explain what you mean?
You have three elements. The feeling arranger is about your feelings, like sound, like energy, like the unseen, the unknown. Then you have your body, your bone structure. Everything in us is built on our bones, like how a house has a frame. So we need to set our bones right, so physically we can function better and we are sound, like we talked. We live in a very unnatural society right now. For instance, we really should walk barefoot, our sole should touch the earth. We wear clothes, but we don’t need clothes. We don’t need to cut our hair. We are supposed to live with the earth, not in concrete houses or driving in cars or sitting in chairs. So our bones need to be set again. We need to set our bones into the original form. Until we set our bones to the original form we are not going to feel that feeling of perfection. You can arrange your feelings, but that’s not enough. That is the first part, finding your center, finding your darkness. But all three are important—feeling arranging, bone setting, and skin changing.
When you say bone setting are you referring to overall physical health? Does this include organs, or do you just mean bones?
It does include organs in a certain way. At this time people have forgotten that we even have bones. People are so big and fat in this society that you don’t see their bones. People don’t feel their bones, all they feel in their body now is the fat. But if you go to a village in Sri Lanka, even in the city, you will see the bones in their bodies, like on their face, hands and feet. When you look at primitive people in old photos or films all the bones are showing. Bones are supposed to show, but we have excess fat. Our bones are the structure of our bodies. If our bones are not functioning right, it doesn’t matter if our feelings are arranged or our skin is right, we’re not going to feel right. Bone setting is related to feeling arranging but it’s the physical.
Do you do exercises to set the bones in the right way?
All of the sessions we do are very different from any other classes you find. What we do is basically put you back into the natural way of living. It’s not like any other path. All other paths are not natural. Like Tantra, yoga, meditating, all of them are not natural. People don’t do things like that in everyday living. What we do is not really hard to do. It’s very natural movement that people would do every day in a natural life. those movements are not things we would do in everyday living. People don’t do things like that in everyday living.
You mean the positions that they do in Yoga or fasting for days and days are not what we would do naturally?
It’s not natural. We don’t sit like that. We don’t stand like that. It’s a very unnatural thing. Same with fasting or staying silent for days and days, these things are very unnatural. What we do in bone setting or feeling arranging is based on very ordinary things that people do every day. When you come to our sessions it’s not like you’re learning Yoga or meditating or we’re going to fast. It is not hard or challenging like something you have to conquer or be a master of or be in control of. In our sessions you’re learning how to live naturally in harmony with existence. The sessions I do are really beautiful for children to do too. It brings you back to natural living. When you do natural things your bones get set right.
Can you describe what you do in your sessions?
We do many different things. Each session would be different from the other sessions. Like some of the sessions we do are Flower Singing, Riddle Poison, Necessary Demon, Footprint Sorcery, Bone Jumping, Memory Forest, Wave Juggling, Fire Barking, Suddenly Butterfly, Nowhere to Yellow and Blood Howling. A lot of the sessions have to do with natural living, living more like the way how we used to live, like the original people. When you come to do a session with us for a week or three day, it’s ongoing from the time you come until the time you leave. Day and night. Like gathering firewood or preparing food or going to the river to bathe. It’s all part of the session All of it is a way of living independent from the system, independent from a certain culture or a certain tradition.
You’re talking about changing your lifestyle, living more like the way primitive people used to live.
I’m talking about changing your lifestyle, but it’s not like a different way of living, but more of a natural way of living in balance with our environment. In the sessions I’m not going to force a certain way of living on you. We will come to an understanding. If we want to really heal ourselves we need to rearrange our feelings. When you arrange your feelings and find your center, naturally you will want to change you life, and you will start living more like the original people used to live. And in the Western world people have a negative idea about living natural. They feel like it’s a big struggle living close to the earth, but living with nature is most easy, most fun, most healthy life you can live. It’s the only life really that will make us whole, happy and blissful. Nothing else will, no matter what we do, nothing. When we talk of living close to the earth the modern people have a fear of it, like it’s a big struggle, like we are going back and not moving forward. People think we have come so far ahead and life is so much easier now. But no, you have not come far forward. In fact, by using all the modern so-called conveniences we have moved back, that’s how we have created these problems that we have in the world, why we are sick all the time. That’s why we are not in harmony and our feelings are disarranged. For generations are bones have been set wrong. And all over the world you see bone sickness. Back problems, joints hurting, headaches, all of this is related to bones not being set right. We sleep wrong, we sit wrong, we walk wrong, our feet don’t connect with the earth. All of these things have effected our bones.
And what do you mean by skin changer?
In Western societies when people feel like it’s not going OK a lot of times people start from the outer—how they look, how they dress, maybe change their job, move to a different city, buy a new car, go to India for 2 weeks. People do all kinds of things like that thinking that they will find their path, find happiness, find the answers. They get caught up in the outer and the inner never gets corrected. It doesn’t matter what we do to the outer. First our inner has got to be set right. With our sessions we start with the inner. That’s arranging our feelings and going to the center. When your feelings are arranged you will find that silent center at the core of your being. What you are doing is searching for your true self, your original face. Once you find your true self, your original face, you go to the outer. People put on makeup, get clothing, change their hair—that’s all outer. Now you look different. That’s a skin change. Your appearance, how you want to look, it’s all outer. You can look like a shaman, but you’re not a shaman. You can look like a rapper, but you’re not a rapper. The inner has to change. The original way, what we do in Sri Lanka, the natural way, is you start from the inner. Inner is you. You start with the feelings, then you work on the bones. The bones are the structure, if the structure is not right then the house will fall apart. After you do the bones you take care of the outer appearance, how you look. Then you choose how you want to look. And you can look any way you want. You can look beautiful and healthy! And you don’t have to go buy a lot of things to look beautiful. It will happen naturally when we find our center. Naturally we are all beautiful.
It’s like you’re expressing your inner state? Like you feel good in spirit and your bones are set so you move more easily with no effort, then your beauty shines through?
Skin changing is like that, but not really. There is more to it. It’s more like you’re creating a character. Or it’s more like you let your original character, your original face, to come through once it’s out you decorate yourself. You’re not like everybody else. You are uniquely different from anyone else, an individual. It’s like your style, the way you look, the way you talk, the way you dress, your outer appearance. Because our feelings are disarranged and our bones are not set right, no one looks the way they want to look or the way they really look. As people we all want to be original, and the only want you can be original is to be you. There is only one you. Once you start changing your skin you go from this to that and eventually you find your own original skin. Then you will say, that is me.
You might go through many different skin changes before you find your own?
You might go through different skin changes and you will find when you are 100% you. What it is is like how you see people like a film star or a singer in a band, and you try to imitate that person, dress like that person, talk like that person. But really that’s not you. When you go through our sessions and arrange your feelings and find your center and set your bones you will come into yourself. You will come to a point where you don’t want to be like no other but you. That’s your real skin and that’s when you will be beautiful. You will be beautiful and original. Now people take on an image—the seventies look, or the shaman look or the Native American look—but it’s not you. When you change your skin, then you’ll be something else. When you go around, people will stop and look and see that your are a star. You will really be a star.
It’s clear that you are a star yourself. You also have many talents. It seems to me that certain people are imaginative or creative or they have a vision. Do you deal with those issues in your sessions?
People see certain people to be creative or talented. The truth is if we arrange our feelings and set our bones we naturally become unique and creative. Whatever we do will be original, different from other people. We are all creative. We are all born talented. But each one of us has different talents. Same with imagination and vision. All people are imaginative. All people are visionary. But our conditioning, our cultural background, hold us back. Like we are supposed to imagine but according to our cultural background, according to our country’s traditions. There are borders we cannot cross. When it comes to being imaginative or visionary there are no cultural borders or any limitations. It’s got to be all open. No limit, not even the sky, nothing. Everything is already created. When you make art, when you put lines together, when you apply color, that art has already been done. All you’re doing is rearranging it to your rhythms and to your cultural background. Same with imagination and vision. When you draw all you’re doing is arranging lines on a page or putting colors on a page. You’re putting skinny lines or fat lines, but you are not creating. Same with colors—you put the colors that you like, you’re putting black or brown, but you’re not creating color. Same with a song—all the songs are here. All the poems are written. It’s not like some people are creative and others are not. Everybody is equally creative. People who make music or make art, all they’re doing is rearranging, taking elements that are out there and putting them together. When you take lines and put them together it will look totally different from when anyone else does it. That’s what is so unique about art or singing or dancing. You are the only one who will take elements that are there already and arrange it to the way you feel, the way you see. There’s only one you. There are not other people like you ever. There is only one you and one me. Now what has happened with art or music, even to become a healer or a shaman, is people go to school and get trained in a certain style, a certain system someone else has created. But that’s not you, that’s not original. With the sessions we do here, what we do is original. It will come from you, from your center, from your darkness, or it comes from existence, but not from any cultural background or a certain country’s traditional background. If I’m doing a purely Sri Lankan way then I’m stuck in my own cultural roots. I’m not bound by any country or any tradition. You have forty students studying art and when they draw lines they look alike. That’s training, not creativity. Art schools, music schools, any school, cannot make you creative. It will never teach you to be original. In fact it will try to make you meet a certain standard so you will be able to work within the system. When you go to school your originality gets taken out. What schools do is take you out of you and put the system into you. When someone is their original self they are very powerful. Schools are made to shape you into a mould so you can function inside society. Like in our society there are certain people that are unique, original, or different. A lot of times they are artists or musicians or poets.
Are they original because they don’t go through formal training or part of the system?
People like that either didn’t go through training, or they went through training but something happened that clicked them back into their original selves. Sometimes you could get trained for years, but then you have an accident, maybe a near-death experience, you get struck by lightening or the person you love leaves your or someone you love dies. Some drastic thing happens and then you snap. You can snap back into your original self. An example is the computer. Sometimes it doesn’t work, and you try this and that but it still doesn’t work. So you turn the computer off and wait a few minutes. When you turn it back on the original computer comes back and it works fine.
It resets. That can happen to humans too?
Exactly. The whole thing we’re doing is resetting you, showing you how to find your center. But we don’t shock you into it by doing mind altering plants like peyote or Ayahuasca or mushrooms. We let it happen to you slowly and naturally. Once you reset anything you do is original. That’s what I’m trying to say about creativity or being imaginative or visionary. Everybody is all of that. But in this society they like to uphold a few people as the talented and creative ones, then they can sell your art or sell your music, make money out of you. When something is uncommon and special then it’s worth a lot of money.
It’s like a rare gem.
Right. If everybody is so creative and powerful they won’t be able to run this whole system. Everyone is an artist, everyone is a healer. When you get your feelings arranged you find out that you have not been even 1% of what you can be. You will be so powerful, so beautiful, so creative, so original, so authentic.
A lot of alternative healers also create an illusion of magic to gain the faith of their patients. A shaman might do tricks that make a sick person feel like he can work miracles.
In Western society we are trained deeply that when you go to a doctor he’s going to take care of you. He will give you some medicine and it doesn’t matter if it’s sugar water or some pill and you will feel better. You will get well, because you believe that it will work. The truth is that we heal ourselves. Nobody else can heal you. You have faith in that doctor, so you get better. I’m not talking about car accidents or breaking your leg. But even with physical accidents like that if your feelings are arranged right you will heal faster, easier, without much effort. My whole thing is showing you that you don’t need me, you don’t need a guru, you don’t need a healer. You can take care of yourself. Do trees need doctors? They will heal themselves. Cut a branch from a tree and go back in 3 months, it’s healed. Take a deer, break his leg, three months later he will be fine. Shamans, healers, we do certain things to win your trust so you will have faith that this person can really heal you. Yes, certain shamans, healers, do tricks or show you miracles or make use of mind-altering substances (mushrooms, peyote, Ayahuasca) to win your trust. With what we do here we don’t do that. No miracles, no tricks, and we don’t use mind altering substances. Also our sessions are for all ages, from the 3 year old boy to the 7 year old girl to the 22 year old man to the 32 year old woman to the newborn. For all people from all cultures. We don’t bring you the Sri Lankan way of healing or the Tibetan way of healing or the Native American way of healing or the African way of healing. What we do has no cultural background, It’s not coming from a certain country’s tradition. You could say that there are elements of all cultures in what we do.
If a doctor or a healer can trick you into healing yourself, as long as you get better what does it matter?
It’s good, but it won’t last, only for a while. You have to keep going back and back, again and again. With what we do, we show you how to find your center, go to your darkness. You become the healer. The point is that you don’t need to go to the doctor. Here is the problem with that system: you work 9 to 5 every day to get money so you can buy insurance so you can pay the doctor. If you don’t have insurance, you’re paying out of your pocket for a treatment you needed. You’re spending all of your life, stressed, to pay for a middle man when you don’t need that.
You’re talking about independence. You’re talking about self-empowerment.
Exactly. You don’t need anyone to heal you. You can heal yourself. When somebody comes to you for a feeling arranging, can you guarantee success?
The success lies within you. If you come and have total faith in what we do in our sessions and have faith in you that you will find yourself, that you will rearrange your feelings, find your center, ,set your bones, change your skin, find your own power, then you will succeed. You have to have total trust, otherwise it’s not going to work. You have to come 100% ready to be here. You can’t come with a lot of doubts. You can’t. That means you don’t trust the methods. You’re questioning. A questioning mind will not get healed. You have to be open and trust. If we ask you to run up and down the mountain all morning, you do it without questioning or thinking why are we doing this? Anyway everything we do are natural things. Nothing unusual or strange. If we ask you to stay up all night chanting around the fire—no questions asked. If we want you to only drink water, then you do it. And remember, the things we do in our sessions are not strange or difficult. There’s nothing weird or scary. We’re doing the most natural things. We don’t lock you in a totally dark room for days or starve you for a week or tell you to put your hands in boiling oil. How is are you going to get healed that way? That’s not natural. The things we do in our sessions are just like everyday living. What we have lost is the most natural way of living. The way we arrange your feelings or your bones is by taking you back to that natural way. What we have forgotten is our original way of living. It’s the easiest thing. When you start living the natural way, you’re feelings will naturally get arranged. Your bones will naturally get set and you will find your own darkness.
Do you have a certain program that you follow?
Each time we do a session I never get prepared for it. I don’t even know how it’s going to turn out to be. It’s not repeating another session that we’ve done already. It’s not like I have a method to heal you. Each of us are uniquely different. Each day, each month is different. So in our sessions it’s not like we are ever going to repeat what we did in the last session. Every session we do is uniquely different. It’s like all the sessions we do do not come from me. It comes from you, the people who participating in the sessions. Is it a sunny day? Is it a rainy day? Is it Spring? Is it Summer? The sessions will take shape according to all of that.
Do you guarantee that we will find our center, that our feelings will get arranged? How long does it take to see results?
We don’t need to compare ourselves with others. We have to follow our natural course. It could be today, it could be tomorrow. Be natural and existence loves those who are natural. People feel differently because everyone has been conditioned differently. I have different levels, different sessions. You can come for a little this or that and it will help. But if you really want to make a change in the way you are living you will have to be with us for 5 days to a week or even more. Or you need to come for different sessions at different times. We hold the sessions in a forested land in the Northern California mountains. There’s a cabin there with solar power, but we camp out in the forest. It’s a wilderness land surrounded by nothing but mountains and trees. It’s very beautiful and pure, very authentic—full of pine trees, oak trees, and Manzanita. We have a little river, and the water is spring water. You can come for a 5 day session, 3 days if you want, even one day. It doesn’t matter. The longer you stay, the more you will get out of it. We could do these sessions in a city but it’s not going to really work. You really need to be in a pure natural place to go into your natural way of living.