Yeah.. he'd resemble one of them if you dressed him up like that.... duh. He wasn't that worn-out looking though.. like he had spent his life staying in shape. I thought maybe he was a mix of several different races. He was dressed in the average white person joe shmoe stuff. He was older.. maybe in his 50s?
After that day I went back to where I found him before (a street corner in suburbanland) and he was nowhere to be found.
Anyway.. I think I'm done trying to share it.. idk what I was looking to get out of it. I guess my cognitive reasoning center is still out of whack.. like I never made it out of adolescence.
No offence meant but your story sounds like you've met a ghost or an angel. You've made it sound so mystical and lofty.
greenkurma has a point here; if we want to consider ourselves a shaman or not, we should be able to identify one.
A shaman is not some sort of a sorcerer to me, he won't do magic tricks to impress you, to disappear leaving you with a load of strange feelings and mind upside down. A shaman ain't a guru or a mystical creature, he's not even a preacher really - rather a teacher.
As for the psychiatrists - they put you on medication, they can supervise you, they listen to how you're doing with your mental health but rarely any of them acts as a guide. It's more often a psychologists job to do that - to be a spiritual guide to you. The role of the psychiatrist is pretty shallow in the means of spirituality; psychiatry governed by the scientific principles deriving from the XVIII century works as a tool of denial against the spirit. The beginning of the age of "enlightenment" was the beginning of the dark ages for the soul and we're still living mainly under this influence.
But the primary role of the shaman is obviously spiritual guidance. So if we try to search in our society among the accepted, legal and popular we find out that a priest may be playing the role of a shaman today.
Yet quite far as the priests live and guide by the principles of stiff and solid religion. Maybe not all but that's the case of religion.
There are a few things that differ a shaman from a church priest, psychologist or a psychiatrist;
- the shaman does have contact with a spiritual realm and is said to be influencing that realm and by that bringing change to physical world
- the shaman enters the spiritual realm either through the use of drugs or techniques of inducing altered states of consciousness
- shaman may be both healer and counselor or mediator between people or/and the spiritual realm
(- the shaman knows his call when it comes to him)
This is what I would call the shaman-axis.
There are few other factors more or less common to the shamans. They may use paraphernalia (drums, pipes, instruments, you name it), they may be possessing some qualities of both sexes, be eunuch, are often "chosen" by surviving a lightning strike, NDE, undergoing a mental illness and such. In fact I've read quite a lot upon a link between shamanism and schizophrenia and it turns out that shamans would be considered schizophrenics by todays psychiatrists, while they serve an important and healthy role in their societies. That raises a lot of thoughts on what's wrong with our world and who's paying the price for it.
Either way they're considered special by the society they're living in. It shows through them. Nevertheless shaman lives very close to the people, they confess to him, they may choose not to. He is the one that is most responsible for the stability and integrity of a village or a tribe. A shaman's concern is people's serenity. He is the one that will travel deeper than anyone else and push himself beyond limits to save others from suffering. He's merely caring for people just like a parent does. But this paragraph is mine and only mine opinion.
But here's the problem. I think that some people are trying to avoid this term because the image of an old-school shaman doesn't fit to the picture that you have outside of your window. It's impossible to avoid the cultural influences anywhere. Along with that one would have to reject any other role in the society that one may have - like job or school. But that's unacceptable today unless you can afford it ($$). We're living in a totally different days and in a totally different world, so the question is; is shamanism still alive, living within us as a primal form of spirituality that awakens in some of us or is it dead today and there's no such thing?
I believe that it is alive even though the shaman's look has changed.
Edited by koldj, 14 March 2010 - 06:23 PM.