Origins and introductions
I am very excited to be working on some writings with Stephen Russell aka Barefoot Doctor. Stephen started training in the martial arts and energy healing 52 years ago and has since trained in understanding the human condition and ways to ameliorate suffering.
This involved studying shamanic healing, acupuncture and Taoist healing. He started a healing practice in London in 1983, which swiftly grew to be the biggest in the world. He has run countless workshops and retreats. Had a TV series, a column in a national newspaper, national radio slots,healing body-product range in over 400 stores worldwide and written over 20 books. His work has been based on Taoism, a comprehensive mind-body-lifestyle practice based on an integrated philosophy/cosmology which he has spent 5 decades decoding and demystifying for his own sake and in order to serve humanity as best he can.
Below by way of an introduction, we provide a few reflections on where some of the worlds magical beliefs and practices including Taoism and Huna originated.
A Huna Perspective
A’ohe pau ka ‘ike i ka halau ho’okahi
-Not all knowledge is learned in one school
This extremely apt Hawaiian phrase highlights the recognition that much can be learned from others in terms of different ways of doing things. In ancient Hawaii until the present day, the esoteric knowledge which has now often come to be referred to as Huna, was handed down from generation to generation mainly through family lineage. The result is that some of the teachings of what we now term as Huna are similar between lineages and in other cases there is more diversity in the knowledge and practices. Despite any differences, the recognition that different approaches contain useful and effective philosophies and techniques that are beneficial is something that I consider to be important.
The lineage of Huna that I hold most dear has a principle referred to as ‘Pono’ one interpretation of which is ‘effectiveness is the measure of truth’ and encourages the use of approaches that will prove most effective to achieve ones desired outcomes regardless of origin. Indeed, done with respectful intent, there is a lot to be learned from other systems. To consider other influences, is a way to grow and this is what brings knowledge alive and maximises its utility.
At a wider cultural level there is also much to be learned from entirely different systems, beliefs and practices. After all, we all share in what some may term the ‘human condition’ and we all share space upon this planet we call earth and breathe the same air and feel the warmth from the same sun.
Who really knows where all the esoteric knowledge on earth originally came from? Some of the Hawaiian creation myths postulate that we are children of the stars that we came from the star system the Pleiades while others track a common thread of origin from the lost continent of Lemuria or Mu. Others say differently…..Maybe at some stage there was a common source or perhaps points way back in history where different influences merged and blended. Maybe concepts around presence, energy, chi and ki, breathing, elements, meditation and much much more have a lot of commonality worth exploring.
It is with this in mind that I am excited to embark on some occasional joint writings with Stephen Russell aka Barefoot Doctor. As a leading and esteemed proponent, teacher and practitioner of Taoist philosophy and as an all round down to earth and seriously decent bloke with some good stuff to say, I am deeply honoured to be embarking on this venture. Our joint jottings will involve us meandering around a variety of topics with the minimum of pressure and the maximum of pleasure, providing a Taoist as well as a Huna perspective. Of course, we hope that you will join us on this journey wherever it may lead.
Before we even set off, I still can vividly recall a sojourn in my younger days on the Greek island of Zante, spending much sun drenched time relaxing and reading Barefoot’s ‘Handbook for Heroes’ and thinking how exciting and useful it all was. That experience had a long lasting impact on me and now that I am engaged in following the path of the Huna Kupua or the ‘Way of the Adventurer’, I wonder if we will see a blending of hero and adventurer? Maybe just maybe there is another heroic adventure in the offing…..
A Taoist Perspective
Stephen Russell aka Barefoot Doctor writes:
One anthropological theory has it that the Polynesians originated in Asia as did the Native Americans, and their exodus was either the same one or happened in a similar era as the first sea-born migrations of the Hopi and various of the Central and South American tribes, the Arawaks, for instance, who settled in the Peruvian-Bolivian Altiplano, likewise the Caribs, both of whom then went on to colonize various Caribbean islands. So it’s no surprise to find the same cosmological template common to both Taoist philosophy, geographically centered around Northern China for at least 12,000 years.
It’s no chance coincidence that both the Taoist and Huna systems are known for their magic. All of this begs the question, was there in fact a great civilization prior to the last ice age that ended apocalyptically, the remnants of the knowledge from which is what enabled the pyramids to be built, or for the practices of Taoism to develop, the acupuncture and so on – and were these emigrés survivors?
Assuming the Polynesians and Native Americans originated in Asia it’s evident the 25,000 years or so since they did was enough to make each evolve looking very different. Which if so, shows it doesn’t take long for evolution to wring profound changes, and that’s just at the superficial level.
Asking these questions isn’t intended to elicit answers. Answers may well come in the fullness of time, assuming we don’t experience any apocalypses of our own in the meantime. But it’s important to start by at least asking the questions. We never know where it will lead. But I’m happy to be writing this with Pete and look forward to the dialogue developing.
Pete Dalton and Stephen Russell ©2018
Find out more about the work of Barefoot Doctor at https://www.barefootdoctorworld.com