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Do you consider yourself a shaman?


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#241 Justintime

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Posted 21 December 2019 - 12:41 PM


They threw all of their payments into the lake for me to collect later. Still have to take a trip there to collect :D

#242 Justintime

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Posted 20 January 2020 - 08:26 AM

Magi

#243 pokemania

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Posted 01 March 2020 - 10:41 PM

No, I am not into shamanism and working with questionable spiritual entities to God knows what sort of confused end



#244 elfstone

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Posted 02 March 2020 - 01:25 AM

Shamanism is an archaic practice that seems a bit silly to try to imitate in our contemporary Western culture. We once had our own indigenous practices which were carried out in the temples of Asclepius and Eleusis and practiced by the founders of Western civilization, Empedocles and Parmenides, who used the Western meditation tradition of incubation, lying down in silent darkness and cultivating an open vigilant awareness toward the inner world. From these depths they drew gifts of the Goddess of the Underworld, Persephone, including philosophy, law, medicine, engineering, mathematics, etc. We took a wrong turn into materialism, militarism and racism around the time of Aristotle and lost our connection when the Platonic Academy was finally shut down by the Roman emperor Justinian in 529 who ended funding as its reason based approach competed with the faith based authoritarian Christian church. The last remnants of the Eleusinian Mysteries were wiped out in 396 AD, when Arian Christians under Alaric, King of the Goths, destroyed and desecrated the old sacred sites. The Greek mystery tradition had at its center the psychedelic beverage Kykeon, a psychoactive sacrament that competed with the Christian Eucharist and was perceived as an ongoing threat.

So we lost the connection with our own indigenous tradition but it’s roots lie deep within our own collective psyche and it is being reborn in contemporary society through the work of Carl Jung and Peter Kingsley. This tradition has both inner and outer components. Lying down in silent darkness, incubation, is the inner work. Carrying that awareness and the insights gleaned from the inner world (underworld) into daily life, the outer part. Not coincidentally, my initial work with the mushroom was conducted in a Samadhi isolation tank, lying down in silent darkness. It gave birth to an outer movement into pursuit of a profession that would allow me to carry the fruits of my inner work into the outer world. This is not shamanism. This is our own Western indigenous tradition being reborn. Psychedelics are a helpful component of this practice but are not necessary for it to be effective. Here there is no “plastic shaman” but a return to our own roots grounded in being true to ourselves and our own cultural roots.

Edited by elfstone, 02 March 2020 - 01:30 AM.

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#245 Moonless

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Posted 02 March 2020 - 02:59 AM

Shamanism is an archaic practice that seems a bit silly to try to imitate in our contemporary Western culture.

 

This is not shamanism. This is our own Western indigenous tradition being reborn. Psychedelics are a helpful component of this practice but are not necessary for it to be effective. Here there is no “plastic shaman” but a return to our own roots grounded in being true to ourselves and our own cultural roots.

 

I like that idea elfstone. Ever since taking the mushrooms I've found myself interested in Indian myth and spirituality but adverse to the idea of "playing Shaman". Often times I felt very out of place in society for taking a path of mysticism but learning about Carl Jung, Gloria Anzaldua, Egyptian and Greek myths has helped me feel empowered in my spirituality.

 

I find it a bit silly that we see our society as descendant from the Greeks, we're so different from them and the church tried to erase mysticism on multiple occasions. But I agree with you their myths are still very much alive in the underworld. Funny how that worked out.



#246 swayambhu

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Posted 02 March 2020 - 05:32 AM

The mindset of someone from a "premodern" society is so radically different from that of one who has been exposed since early age to a world view based on empiricism and the scientific method (however badly they might understand either) that the proposition of transferring an institution such as supernatural healing from the former to the latter is, in my opinion, not a valid one.

 

I have in my life had the good fortune to spend time amongst people who had literally no idea what country they lived in, let alone what might cause lightning to strike or cause their livestock to sicken. Interestingly things like humour and fun, kindness and decency (and I am talking about people who would not think twice about killing a person deemed as a threat) were very translatable, but there was an immediacy to their lives, a sense of the being absolutely in the present, that was like a brick wall, on their side of which 2D did not exist, space did not exist, other countries did not exist, history as something that happened in the past (as opposed to an ongoing story) did not exist, recording anything other than in their heads did not exist. 

 

Now, I'm not saying that the cultures whose variety of "shamanism" is usually emulated in the West fall into that category necessarily, but it would almost always (i.e. always) be true that someone from our culture who lived in a world in which they truly believed, with no allowance for metaphor, that the vast majority of phenomena were caused by unseen personalities, would be classed as psychotic. 


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#247 TVCasualty

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Posted 03 March 2020 - 09:13 AM

IMO the word "shamanism" is used so much (and so vaguely) because we don't have any other words that seem adequate for the context.

 

Once this ongoing "archaic revival" reaches critical mass then new or rediscovered words will emerge to talk about it with that will be more commonly understood (or less-ambiguous) thanks to enough people having had a common experience that our words are referring to.

 

This thought is difficult to express; I guess the gist is that the vocabulary problem is equivalent to trying to explain "tripping" to someone who has never done it. We can throw as many words at it as we want but that doesn't mean anyone else will ever understand what we're trying to say (or ever could, at least to any meaningful degree). Granted, it's not necessarily the case that having what feels like adequate words to describe a phenomenon means we understand it, either. But having some words makes us feel like we do and that's usually good enough, I guess. But then I consider the fact that I'm not sure I even understand what it means to "understand" something.

 

It's kind of ironic that we struggle for millennia to find the words to describe experiences that transcend words and often leave us speechless. I guess it's as good a way to pass the time as any.


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#248 swayambhu

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Posted 03 March 2020 - 12:35 PM

A European word for shaman from not too long ago is “fairy doctor”.
Sadly some of the methods of fairy doctors, such as slathering the patients legs in stale urine, or purgative oral doses of goose grease, lack the appeal of South and Central American shamanism with their bright colours, psychedelics, and political currency.

Edited by swayambhu, 03 March 2020 - 12:36 PM.


#249 TVCasualty

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Posted 04 March 2020 - 12:32 PM

A European word for shaman from not too long ago is “fairy doctor”.
Sadly some of the methods of fairy doctors, such as slathering the patients legs in stale urine, or purgative oral doses of goose grease, lack the appeal of South and Central American shamanism with their bright colours, psychedelics, and political currency.

 

Reintroducing the name "fairy doctor" would be a hard sell in many circles, which is probably for the best.

 

The geographic differences in cultures have always intrigued me; I suspect the "traditional" aesthetic in what became Europe was defined by the darker/dissociative entheogens used there (mandrake, henbane, amanita muscaria) vs. places like India or South America whose art and historic cultural themes reflects their use of tryptamine-based entheogens (or mescaline in some cases) instead.

 

It seems to be the case that how we see the world and respond to it with art is largely culturally defined, and culture is in turn largely defined by the drugs its population is on.

 

So it doesn't matter (to me) what my own genetic ancestors may have been into since the substances that informed their experiences were entirely incidental to the geography where their culture emerged. As far as I'm concerned, if humans did it then it's part of the human tradition, and so it can be part of anyone's legacy so long as they choose to incorporate it into their worldview. It's also the case that all traditions are likely to contain plenty of falsehoods and nonsense, so I suppose the best we can manage as a species is to never stop evolving and refining our awareness and consciousness because we're probably still wrong and always will be, at least so some degree.

 

 

 

The main thing I'm concerned about is the emergence of self-serving but charismatic psychedelic Pied Pipers who try to shoe-horn themselves in between the individual and their relationship with the transcendent/numinous and end up leading people off into fucked-up, pathological directions. That can easily devolve into a scene indistinguishable from a cult. This is why I'd never join some bogus psychedelic "church" in order to legally justify the use of psychedelics.

 

IMO forming a 'psychedelic church' is acquiescing to the dominance of our pathological paradigm where every damned thing we do ends up becoming an hierarchical and therefore exploitable/controllable pyramid scheme with some Narcissistic bastard sitting on top who believes his own press. That is the birth of dogma and the foundation of what became the global scourge of organized religion, which is basically the ossification of direct experience; "Put down those mushrooms, peasant! Here, have a placebo-cracker instead then get your ass back to work!"

 

 

It's an open question if organizations like the Native American Church and the various ayahuasca quasi-religions that have sprung up have enabled more people to gain access to the tools for exploring their own consciousness or if they have actually worked to retard and inhibit what might have otherwise been much more significant, culture-wide changes in attitudes towards these substances by now.

 

For example, there are clearly a lot of people who are interested in learning what mushrooms, peyote or ayahuasca (etc.) are all about, but are not interested in joining some random and arbitrary group that possesses it's own implicit (or possibly even explicit) Belief System or incorporates its own random pile of cultural baggage in order to do so. Granted, there may be profound and universal insights hidden in the cultural baggage, but we'd need to be able to explore these substances from all angles (with and without the baggage) in order to determine what they are, and in any case such insights are not unique or exclusive to any given culture because there are no cultures that consist of a unique substrain of human.


Edited by TVCasualty, 04 March 2020 - 12:34 PM.

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#250 swayambhu

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Posted 04 March 2020 - 12:55 PM

 

A European word for shaman from not too long ago is “fairy doctor”.
Sadly some of the methods of fairy doctors, such as slathering the patients legs in stale urine, or purgative oral doses of goose grease, lack the appeal of South and Central American shamanism with their bright colours, psychedelics, and political currency.

 

Reintroducing the name "fairy doctor" would be a hard sell in many circles, which is probably for the best.

 

 

 

 

Lol, yes, I quite agree, that was sort of my point.

Further to which, and as I think you suggest, what survived into recent times of the native healing traditions of northern europe are all just kind of a bit grim, and where they aren't grim they are uninteresting or hokey (and all the hokier for the background of familiarity). 


Edited by swayambhu, 04 March 2020 - 01:00 PM.

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#251 Alder Logs

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Posted 04 March 2020 - 01:41 PM

My growing up as a hyperactive wild child, later called, "ADHD," has been theorized later on to have been something natural to serve the greater good in hunter/gatherer societies, as the "symptoms" create superior hunters, though shitty students in fully controlled classroom environments.  I, the body/mind, had a mix that included dyslexia, which was a real doubling down.   As a kid, my natural habitat was in the brush.  Nothing happening, while in the woods, kept me thoroughly involved.   Nothing happening, in the classroom, kept me looking out the windows, or at the clock that clicked one minute forward every sixty endless seconds.  One was to feel freedom, the other, torture. 

 

One of the first things I figured out when tripping, and it took a few LSD and mescaline trips to get this, is everyone trips alone on his/her own trip.  You might trip with friends and think you're sharing something, but what you don't ever share, straight or blasted, is perspectives, at least while the individuated identity still holds its sway.  The shaman, or whatever we call him/her, if accomplished, might have mastered an encompassing of a generalized perspective, in which the point perspective illusion is broken.   It's like to be the whole, you have to disappear from the scene.   It is truly a case of you can't have it both ways. 

 

It's not to say that we never submit to a shaman's guidance, for that would be arrogance.   In American and European men, that's a big one, generally, though I believe those times are actually changing.  We own ourselves, not as an idea, but as pure experience.   What we think about experiences is not the experiences we think about.   What we learn in presence is the real, but can't be applied until we see we must remain in presence.   Even in remembering and projecting, we stay grounded in now.   This is the domain of the accomplished shaman, the out-of-time perspective.  

 

In effect, all descriptions are untrue.  All symbols' meanings are the meanings we each give them.   The shaman must realize this, and in this, every case would be different.  No one-size-fits-all solution for anyone.   When Mr. or Ms. Shaman tells us he or she has IT, is the one, keep owning yourself.   My early life mis-fitness didn't allow me the luxury of assumed rightness.  It made for a deep questioning and willingness to see what the possibilities might be.  Like many of us learn as we grow older, the more we learn, the more we learn that we don't know.   Can we go all the way to seeing we don't "know" anything, except knowing the knowing of, in presence? 

 

So, we must be brave and honest, and that knower in us, humble.  Then, all is to gain.  I think I wrote about my one big shamanic experience on the dose that came to me from Terence, early in this very thread.  That experience didn't make me a shaman.  It helped make me nothing, which I was blessed later on to learn more deeply while in a very sober condition.   Do I (this expression of life) see memory and projection from a single human perspective still?  Yes, as this expression.  Is this expression seen from a seeing that stands even behind that? 

 

The expression here that types these words is watched.  What is that watching made of?  From where does it arise?  Did it have any beginning?   What could it be named, to have a name mean anything true? 

 

Wubba wubba wubba.   What the fuck am I talking about?


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#252 TVCasualty

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Posted 04 March 2020 - 02:31 PM

Thriving in nature (or a species' "Evolutionary success") is largely a function of how effective individuals of a given species are at conserving their energy, so maybe the question we should be asking is Why did we evolve the ability to talk?

 

I'm not sure if the ability to speak and "language" are interchangeable phenomena since either one is arguably possible without the other.



#253 whatsupdude

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Posted 06 March 2020 - 01:55 PM

I'm not shaman but I do get some funny ideas when I'm tripping.  :biggrin:






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