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Wiki says.....(Your not a Shaman!)


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#41 squizzlix

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Posted 07 January 2009 - 12:30 PM

The National Center on Elder Abuse estimated that nearly one third of all elder abuse cases involved financial exploitation. In 2000, the US Senate Special Committee on Aging reported $40 billion in losses to telemarketing fraud.:eusa_shhh


this brings up the question is it better to live 80-90 years
in a country that lacks fundamental community?

or is it better to live 60-65 years in a place where
your neighbors are less likely to steal and swindle their neighbors?

it is obvious that industrialized nations can extend the life
expectancy for as far as the eye can see.
but technology and vast government tends to keep people from
one another, truly getting to know one another.

take the cell phone for example.
on the surface it would appear to bring people closer
together considering you can call anyone anytime
anywhere.
but the drawback is when someone is walking around life
with a phone up to their ear talking to someone
they already know,
they miss the chance to meet hundreds or thousands
of people passing them by that they don't know.
keeping the community at bay.

it would be nice to know everyone in the village IMO.
besides,
it seems that the folks who follow shamanic figures are
much more ready for death at an early age.
where as plenty of "civilized" folks who have been told
by there shaman, er i mean, school teachers that "drugs"
are bad. so they live longer in fear and uncertainty.

it is what it is and nothing can change that.
IMO it still seems that these uncivilized countries and
tribes have the edge when it comes to feelings
emotions and general well being.

where as we have the edge in conquering nature and
the physical finite world.

#42 duaut

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Posted 07 January 2009 - 01:00 PM

this brings up the question is it better to live 80-90 years
in a country that lacks fundamental community?

or is it better to live 60-65 years in a place where
your neighbors are less likely to steal and swindle their neighbors?


You have this backwards. People in less developed countries live shorter lifespans than people in developed nations.
There are fewer people living into their 80-90 in less developed nations than places like the USA and Europe.
People in the jungles of South America live to the ripe old age of 35-60 at the most, and that includes the majors cities like Lima, San Paulo, etc.

#43 Hippie3

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Posted 07 January 2009 - 09:47 PM

or is it better to live 60-65 years in a place where
your neighbors are less likely to steal and swindle their neighbors?


IF that were true
that'd be great.
however again
the numbers just don't back up the hype.
the prisons in chile, for example, are crammed full of thieves, killers, rapists, etc.
chile is one of these indigenous cultures with strong shamanic traditions
yet in terms of crime
it is #5 in the entire world-
http://www.nationmas...imes-per-capita

columbia is #1 and venezuela is #4
for most murders on the planet per year=
http://www.nationmas...ders-per-capita


explain that...

#44 nodnarb1978

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Posted 07 January 2009 - 09:51 PM

IF that were true
that'd be great.
however again
the numbers just don't back up the hype.
the prisons in chile, for example, are crammed full of thieves, killers, rapists, etc.
chile is another of these indigenous cultures with strong shamanic traditions
yet in terms of crime
it is #5 in the entire world-
http://www.nationmas...imes-per-capita

columbia is #1 and venezuela is #4
for most murders on the planet per year=
http://www.nationmas...ders-per-capita


explain that...


Thats wierd. I remember a friend of my from junior high was from Chile. At the time he had only lived in the states a few years. But he said Chile lacked crime.. Funny how things change, and rapidly.!

#45 chimp

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Posted 07 January 2009 - 11:01 PM

explain that...




I don't see the correlation between shamanistic based cultures and those based upon modern beliefs and severity of crime in those same societies.

Maybe I am missing something but I have always believed that poverty is the main cause of crime.

#46 squizzlix

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 07:26 AM

just an educated guess here,
no real evidence to back it up,

but i'm willing to bet,
that all this crime,
is originating in the industrialized parts of these countries,
the parts of these countries that
have turned away from teachings of the old,
in hope that they too can control,
the temp in their houses,

so in a way,
further proof,
that the industrialized road,
is paved with an "I".

where as the jungle based tribes are more of what i had in mind,
no concern to have "stuff".
simply being alive and one with nature is blessing enough for them,
(or so it seems, i have never personally met any tribal folk)


of course my entire point could be flawed,
if the ideal of true "community",
may simply be a fleeting and impossible goal,
such as peace and unity and democracy,:hippie:
and landing on the moon,:mistrust:
but it takes all kinds i suppose,:eusa_danc
i'm still going to hold on to hope that it truly
can be achieved on a collective, global, galactic scale!!!

ONE LOVE!!!:heartbeat:heartbeat:heartbeat

#47 witchdr11

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 08:41 AM

None of us may ever be wikipedia definitions of a shaman, but theres no reason not to further the study of this phenomena and its place in human culture.

It's definitely something I have always been interested in whether any of it has any truth in it in the end.

I havent met too many of these New Age shamans that actually go around professing that they are shamans. I have met alot of people that have an interest in the topic and perhaps identify with that sort of character.

For that matter, who to say who is and isn't a shaman, it's not like you can go get a degree in it.

I thought that the answer about the community appointing the shaman has alot of weight. It's what you are to those people that probably makes you the shaman, not what you are to yourself. Whether you are a "good" or "bad" shaman depends on whether you are having a positive or negative impact on the people's lives and health.

Do no harm is the first principle of even modern medicine. It seems a pretty good guideline.

#48 Oblivion

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 05:13 PM

Definitions change over time. Get enough people together and simply change the definition to suit your needs. Happens all the time.

#49 Hippie3

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 06:34 PM

re-define your way into a winning argument = poor form
:thumbdown:

#50 TVCasualty

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 08:00 PM

Definitions do change over time; gay people aren't necessarily just really happy any more for example, but 'shaman' is a term that never had an original or traditional meaning outside of obscure anthropology journals before it was appropriated by all sorts of people who decided it meant all sorts of things.

The word priest has a very specific meaning in Catholicism, and what priests are supposed to do is not up for debate, but whether or not some of the things they're supposed to be able to do are even possible still is. Did the penance the priest gave me to serve really help me out in the eyes of God? Hard to say...

Most discussions of shamanism seem to mix these two subjects up; what exactly do we mean when we use the term, and is it even possible to do what is claimed? Our approach depends on our previous exposure to the subject, and mine was quite reasonable and did not make ridiculous claims of supernatural power (I was only exposed to reasonable claims of supernatural power ;)), but if I'd been introduced to the subject by someone who shook a rattle at my friend with cancer saying it would cure them, I would have a different take.

What is "possible" changes over time, too. Leeches were considered good medicine back in the day. Then they came to epitomize medieval ignorance. Now they're good medicine again, but for a narrower range of applications. I think shamanism will prove to be similar.

#51 witchdr11

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 08:01 PM

The encroachment of Western culture into these cultures does taint the results somewhat. But, I don't think the two things interrelate anyway.

I'm sure there have been thieves and murderers as long as there have been shamans.

If lots of shamans reduce crime, then all the basement shamans round here need to get to work!

Just kiddin..If anything I'm sure most of them are promoting a more peaceful world, even if only through psychedelics on the weekends. Modern life, modern adaptation.

It is good to see some renewal of interest in Western culture of these phenomena. If there is something to be learned form psychedelic states, there have to be people willing to traverse this terrain. In fact isn't that what the shaman has always done?

It seems as though society knows that we need to study these things but not all of society has the stuff to go tripping balls for a living bringing back insight from "the spirit world".

But there are some who are willing, and well prepared to do just this. They do it so others don't have to. The shaman is the intermediary between the psychedelic state and those who cannot afford to go there. He trips so they dont have to. It's part of the beauty of human culture's tendency to specialize, but share their specializations for the good of the whole species.

Perhaps this was all a little idealistic, but I am just trying to present a more broad way of looking at it.

If we are to carry the ancient definition of a shaman into defining what today and tomorrow's shamans should be, know and do, this suggests to me that all those shamans never did anything good for us because we are not moving forward and progressing, which suggests they must have never brought back anything "new"

Perhaps it is time to let go of shamanism being defined by mumbo jumbo and magic and start defining it with science and "modern" perspectives.

#52 Hippie3

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 08:17 PM

lol
i maintain that when one side starts 'refining' definitions
that's a strong indicator that
the debate is not going well for them.
:lol:
i think we all have a pretty general idea of the concept behind the term shaman-
we really don't need to be uber-precise to discuss the underlying concept.
to wit-
the bridge-builder,
the one who can connect this world to the 'other'.
it's a very ancient concept, as old as priesthoods-
older even than cities or kings.
did you know that
the title of pope -
pontiff
means a bridge-builder ?
as in pontoon, from the latin root.
boil it all down
and a shaman is just another name for a priest.

not that far of a stretch to understand the why and how-
it's self-evident to almost all of us that we are not the One,
when i speak to god i do not hear a reply.
but hey, here's a guy that says he does,
claims he has a special ability,
favored by god with divine powers like healing the sick, seeing the future.
who are we to argue ?
now the stage props vary culture by culture
but our common underlying humanity created some overlap.
candles bring fire, incense smoke likewise.
drums bring blood, heartbeat, sex, pulse of life even in the womb.

#53 TVCasualty

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 09:12 PM

lol
i maintain that when one side starts 'refining' definitions
that's a strong indicator that
the debate is not going well for them.


Well, we do seem to associate different things with the term. The things I associate with it are possible. The things you associate with it are less so, or not at all. It's hard to talk about something in that context, and I don't have a better word to use for what I'm into yet.

i think we all have a pretty general idea of the concept behind the term shaman-
we really don't need to be uber-precise to discuss the underlying concept.
to wit-
the bridge-builder,
the one who can connect this world to the 'other'.


I suppose believing this part is a function of believing in the existence of a spirit world in the first place. If one thinks there is some force or place that is unseen and eternal (and real, in some sense) then the existence of bridges and bridge builders to that place seems only natural. If not, then the whole thing seems preposterous, end of story.


it's a very ancient concept, as old as priesthoods-
older even than cities or kings.


Well, of course. Shamanism pre-dated all those things (and was the precursor to modern religions) and IMO was the actual "world's oldest profession."

not that far of a stretch to understand the why and how-
it's self-evident to almost all of us that we are not the One,


But we're part of it. Though 'one' cannot be 'many' or it's not 'one'. Then again, we're all part of this one Universe and even though our little piece is not the whole, it will become part of it again some day and then we will be the One, just like we used to be. It's all a big joke in a way, and a shaman is just someone who is starting to 'get' the punchline.

when i speak to god i do not hear a reply.


Do you expect God to speak in words? Have you never heeded signs, omens, dreams, or visions? I don't know if I've ever heard God per se, but I have received plenty of signs, dreams, omens, and visions that came from somewhere that was not me. I know this because often what I learned I'd never been taught in the manifest world, yet it turned out to be right. One thing organized religion has been good at is making people think that God does not speak to them, or has to use an intermediary, or will answer their prayers in English or something (they pray in words, which probably means they expect an answer in kind).

but hey, here's a guy that says he does,
claims he has a special ability,
favored by god with divine powers like healing the sick, seeing the future.
who are we to argue ?


The lineage I studied had the view that every person was capable of becoming a shaman, it was just a matter of training (like with martial arts, and in fact some of the training included martial arts). To them, a shaman was someone who had merely transcended their own religion, and anyone could do that.

did you know that
the title of pope -
pontiff
means a bridge-builder ?
as in pontoon, from the latin root.
boil it all down
and a shaman is just another name for a priest.


I'd heard that about the pope, but don't forget that you can make bridges to Hell, too! :eusa_ange

The key difference between a shaman as I see them and a priest is that the shaman offers direct experience (eat this mushroom called 'flesh of the Gods') and the priest offers interpretations of other people's presumably direct experience (eat this bland, dry cracker called the body of Christ, or to put it another way, the flesh of God). A priest wants you to see God the same way he does (the priest wants to decide what you'll put on your cracker). A shaman (ideally) wants to help you see the Great Mystery through your own eyes (no transubstantiation needed at all for those Teonancatl crackers).

#54 Hippie3

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 09:29 PM

The key difference between a shaman as I see them and a priest is that the shaman offers direct experience (eat this mushroom called 'flesh of the Gods') and the priest offers interpretations of other people's presumably direct experience (eat this bland, dry cracker called the body of Christ, or to put it another way, the flesh of God).


ah, but there it's you deciding to believe in one thing
but not another-
the catholic priest would say that wafer becomes the literal body of christ-
that's the miracle of transubstantiation.

it's your preference to believe that the experience of the one is real
but the other is not.
no great surprise that is your belief
as it has been your argument all along.

my problem is that i reject both claims as bogus,
shaman and priest- both deluded at best, liars at worst.
some are both.
few lies more damnable than the pious fraud .

i see no evidence whatsoever that
primitive superstitious cultures with shaman
are in any better shape than the rest of the world.

and as for the substances themselves-
i submit that, for many,
they serve the same functions as the sacraments of the church-
it is the psychological impact of belief
that leads to personal transformation,
and that can come from many sources,
for some
it's a steaming brew of leaves and bark on the forest floor,
for others it's a little wafer in a cathedral.

there is only one miracle there though,
and it doesn't spring from any ritual, drug or person-
it comes from within the human mind.

to my way of thinking
a REAL shaman would tell any seeker that came to him
that he was looking in the wrong place.

#55 rocketman

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 09:37 PM

In todays world even the churches that use ayahuasca as a sacrement are heavily influenced by the catholic religion due to the influx of missionaries back in the old days. Many of the readily available shaman in peru are of this variety as well, or many were when I looked for them.

#56 TVCasualty

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 09:49 PM

i see no evidence whatsoever that
primitive superstitious cultures with shaman
are in any better shape than the rest of the world.


But "better off" is more a function of geography and natural resources than spiritual pursuits. Check out the National Geographic documentary Guns, Germs and Steel to see the whole thing laid out better than any summary I could give here (and as tired as I am right now).

and as for the substances themselves-
i submit that, for many,
they serve the same function of the sacraments of the church-
it is the pychological impact of belief
that leads to personal transformation,
and that can come from many sources,
for some
it's a steaming brew of leaves and bark on the forest floor,
for others it's a little wafer in a cathedral.


My point was that no belief is necessary at all to have a direct spiritual experience with mushrooms. With crackers, you gotta believe or nothing happens. With mushrooms, it's Game On no matter what you were thinking beforehand. So, at least some aspects of being a shaman are more objectively real than some of what priests do.

there is only one miracle there though,
and it doesn't spring from any ritual, drug or person-
it comes from within the human mind.

to my way of thinking
a REAL shaman would tell any seeker that came to him
that he was looking in the wrong place.


I agree, and my shamanism is about making up for the fact that we were born without instruction manuals. It's all there inside us already, but our brains are capable of a lot of 'tricks' that we usually need to be taught to use and it's nice if someone can give us a head start in learning how to do that.

The people I hung out with did not call themselves shamans, and they would tell a seeker to go elsewhere depending on the questions that seeker was asking, and why. Or, if they did offer an answer it was a riddle or a teaching that had something left out so that as taught it would never work. You were supposed to figure out what was missing or incorrect and then it would work, but the important thing was what you learned along the way.

I was also told that to test a shaman to see if they are worth a damn, notice their level of awareness. It should be a lot higher than average, and they should be able to point out things going on around you that you weren't aware of until they were pointed out. Awareness, after all, is the doorway to the spirit.

#57 Hippie3

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 09:59 PM

My point was that no belief is necessary at all to have a direct spiritual experience with mushrooms. With crackers, you gotta believe or nothing happens. With mushrooms, it's Game On no matter what you were thinking beforehand. So, at least some aspects of being a shaman are more objectively real than some of what priests do.


i don't see the evidence to support the notion
that ingesting mushrooms WILL give a spiritual experience,
it's much more hit-or-miss than that.
many dose repeatedly and never get it,
even ones who desperately want it, believe in it.
some dose once and get it ,
some without even trying.

but if one studies the history closely
one can find the same phenomenon in formal religions-
even devout atheists can become born-again believers
given a certain set of conditions for their personality.
i've felt the euphoria one can get when touched by the spirit,
as they say.
it's as real as any dose.
and it's self-created from within our own mind.
it's my belief that trippers who get visionary experiences
are already religiously-inclined,
there's even some [controversial] evidence
that belief may be genetic based, hard-wired into us.

#58 TVCasualty

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 07:58 AM

We've seen other links to this study around here about the long-lasting effects of a mushroom-inspired transcendent experience: http://www.sciam.com...ushrooms&sc=rss

I'm curious what the results of a similar study involving "born again" conversion experiences or receiving the Eucharist would be over a year later.

Anyhow, I said you can have a spiritual experience with mushrooms that you were not looking for, not that you necessarily will. I believe the probability of having a spontaneous spiritual experience on crackers is significantly less. Regardless of one's beliefs or personal interpretation of the experience, mushrooms create mental changes that are clearly not caused by the placebo effect, and although someone may not interpret them as a spiritual experience they certainly know they experienced something.

#59 Three of Five

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 09:08 AM

Definitions change over time. Get enough people together and simply change the definition to suit your needs. Happens all the time.


:lol: I like that! I declare myself the first "American Shaman"!
Now whos with me!!!!

#60 Jayos The Chaos

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 09:50 AM

Ok Three, I will join your cult but if I find out that American Shamens perform human sacrifices, I'm outta here! I am now an American Shamen ---holla luya!




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