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InvisibleBridgeburner
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THE "I think i might be a SHAMAN" thread ***UFO encounters as initiation***
    #10396250 - 05/25/09 02:17 PM (15 years, 28 days ago)

i've seen a lot of "i'm a shaman" threads around here and each time lots of people have angrily mocked the poster and ridiculed him with (undeserved imo) anger and some other negative undertones. from what i've read and experienced shamanism is something that's happening to people in the western society.

here are some basics about how people usually found the calling about becoming a shaman:

Quote:

Shamanism, like many other "isms," is a Western construct, and issues of gender and sexuality play into this construct in various ways. Shamanism has been used since the eighteenth century to describe various people in indigenous ("tribal") communities who might also be termed "medicine men," "witch doctors," "healers," and "sorcerers"; those people who engage with "spirits" for certain socially sanctioned tasks.

Shamans may be identified as such from birth, through an initiatory sickness, or a calling from the spirits; only rarely is the vocation taken up voluntarily. Shamanic practices may include healing the sick, controlling game, altering consciousness, journeying to other worlds, speaking to spirits or becoming possessed by them, even forming marriages and sexual relationships with powerful "spirit-helpers."




what interests me the most is the initiatory sickness.

Quote:

Historically, shamanism has been confused with schizophrenia by anthropologists because shamans often speak of altered state experiences in the spirit world as if they were "real" experiences. While the shaman and the person in a psychotic episode both have unusual access to spiritual and altered state experiences, shamans are trained to work in the spirit world, while the psychotic person is simply lost in it.

But in many traditional cultures, psychotic episodes have served as an initiatory illness that calls a person into shamanism. Mircea Eliade writes:

      The future shaman sometimes takes the risk of being mistaken for a "madman". . .but his "madness" fulfills a mystic function; it reveals certain aspects of reality to him that are inaccessible to other mortals, and it is only after having experienced and entered into these hidden dimensions of reality that the "madman" becomes a shaman. (Mircea Eliade. Myths, Dreams, and Mysteries. New York: Harper and Row, 1960. Page 80-81)



Quote:


As the person accepts the calling and becomes a shaman, their illness usually disappears. The "self-cure of a psychosis" is so typical of the shaman that some anthropologists have argued that anyone without this experience should be described only as a healer. The concept of the "wounded healer" addresses the necessity of the shaman-to-be entering into extreme personal crisis in preparation of his/her role in the community as a healer (Halifax, Joan. Shamanic Voices. New York: Dutton, 1979)..




Quote:

When someone is called to become a shaman this Call
is often accompanied by a period of physical or mental distress or
illness. A potential shaman may then elect to avoid that calling or
may decide to seek training and begin to shamanize. (Among the Tungus
of Siberia, from whom the word 'shaman' originates, the word is in
fact used both as a noun and as a verb. In English, the verb form is
'to shamanize'.)

The first task the new or prospective shaman must face then is to
master his or her own condition and this experience becomes an
essential part of what resources may thereafter be drawn upon when
shamanizing or engaging in shamanic healing or other activities. The
personal experience of those shamans who do encounter
such an initial period of 'shamanic sickness' is characteristic of
the role of personal experience in the way of shamans worldwide.
Overcoming this initial period of illness or distress, when it is
encountered, and which may be brief or last for many years, provides
shamans with the type of experience which is considered absolutely
necessary for their work as shamans. As self therapy, it also enables
the shaman to participate in the day-to-day life of the community
(which may not have been possible while in the throws of shamanic
sickness.)






hope some of you bothered to read through it all. this of great interest to me personally and i hope some of you have some ideas about all this stuff.


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Edited by Bridgeburner (06/19/09 01:02 PM)

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InvisibleOrgoneConclusion
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Re: THE "I think i might be a SHAMAN" thread [Re: Bridgeburner]
    #10396293 - 05/25/09 02:24 PM (15 years, 28 days ago)

If you try to pick up chicks at a family reunion...

You just might be a shaman.


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InvisibleBridgeburner
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Re: THE "I think i might be a SHAMAN" thread [Re: OrgoneConclusion]
    #10396304 - 05/25/09 02:25 PM (15 years, 28 days ago)

how's that helpful to a discussion :mad2:?


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InvisibleOrgoneConclusion
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Re: THE "I think i might be a SHAMAN" thread [Re: Bridgeburner]
    #10396345 - 05/25/09 02:33 PM (15 years, 28 days ago)

My bad. :blush: Thought this was the "You might be a redneck" thread. :sorry:


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InvisibleBridgeburner
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Re: THE "I think i might be a SHAMAN" thread [Re: OrgoneConclusion]
    #10396377 - 05/25/09 02:41 PM (15 years, 28 days ago)

your mistake indeed!


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InvisibleOrgoneConclusion
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Re: THE "I think i might be a SHAMAN" thread [Re: Bridgeburner]
    #10396407 - 05/25/09 02:46 PM (15 years, 28 days ago)

*crawls into a hole to hide*


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InvisibleBridgeburner
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Re: THE "I think i might be a SHAMAN" thread [Re: OrgoneConclusion]
    #10396442 - 05/25/09 02:52 PM (15 years, 28 days ago)

o come out ye faithful


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Invisibledeimya
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Re: THE "I think i might be a SHAMAN" thread [Re: Bridgeburner]
    #10396807 - 05/25/09 03:52 PM (15 years, 28 days ago)

The scar of the shaman grows different in its intricacy. It takes shape in the shaman's habits and discourses and his pact with the community depends only slightly on his particular mystical experiences. He's an oak amongst the ferns, producing a different sound when the wind blows.

In that sense it might be that his spiritual and physical healing aptitudes, if any, depends more on swaying one's mind and body away and steer it back to rest in a hopefully diseaseless state, rather than targeting a particular ailment using diagnostics. Kick the patient over the forest instead of making him crawl along a convoluted path. In both cases you lend somewhere anyway.

That's my 2¢

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OfflineFraggin
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Re: THE "I think i might be a SHAMAN" thread [Re: deimya]
    #10397988 - 05/25/09 07:07 PM (15 years, 27 days ago)

Quote:

deimya said:
The scar of the shaman grows different in its intricacy. It takes shape in the shaman's habits and discourses and his pact with the community depends only slightly on his particular mystical experiences. He's an oak amongst the ferns, producing a different sound when the wind blows.

In that sense it might be that his spiritual and physical healing aptitudes, if any, depends more on swaying one's mind and body away and steer it back to rest in a hopefully diseaseless state, rather than targeting a particular ailment using diagnostics. Kick the patient over the forest instead of making him crawl along a convoluted path. In both cases you lend somewhere anyway.

That's my 2?




Ferns thrive in oak leaf clutter..... That and occasional rain is all they need to grow...

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Invisibledaytripper23
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Re: THE "I think i might be a SHAMAN" thread [Re: Bridgeburner]
    #10398024 - 05/25/09 07:13 PM (15 years, 27 days ago)

I think Shamanism may be reasonably understood as a user's attempt to assert a role that does not exist in his society. For instance, this might be to say that there are other purposes for doing mushrooms besides "recreational" (illegal).

And what other purposes are there, eh?

As your post seems to allude, there is a certain controversy when someone declares shamanism, because the claim seems to fall anywhere between being an ordinary devotee and enlightenment, depending on interpretation. That, I think is why so many of "our own" seem to resent this claim, and it may also be why it isn't formally accepted as a tradition.

"He claims he is a shaman? How presumptuous."

The reason that the line between devotee and enlightenment is hard to conceptualize, is due in great part to that there is no consenting society, no "matrix" to claim enlightenment of (in concept/form). No doubt, there is a certain interplay or translation between individual and cultural consciousness, that is greatly influencing our discourse. So in a certain sense, the typical controversy that you might run into here is just another complexity of propaganda.

That's one way of looking at it.

But also, more existentially if you will, this internal criticism is just one way to deal with formalism that happens to be negative, where established traditions have obviously encountered the problem in positive.

For instance, the Buddhists can much more easily recognize the difference between a "Buddhist" and a "Buddha", if only initially. There is a clearly drawn out, and formally recognized matrix for realization. But with that, they must face the dogmas of their speculation. Its what they call "Dharma burden". If you think about it, this is the same basic problem of an "ostensible enlightenment", only formalized. Its a problem in all formalized traditions.



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Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
  The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
  The frumious Bandersnatch!

Edited by daytripper23 (05/25/09 07:25 PM)

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OfflineFraggin
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Re: THE "I think i might be a SHAMAN" thread [Re: daytripper23]
    #10398082 - 05/25/09 07:22 PM (15 years, 27 days ago)

Depends on your perspective. A Shaman can be a man that has a continuously open mind. A shaman can be the neighbor that grows his own herbs and spices and uses garlic and vinegar to cure everything.

The path into shamanism is entirely dependant upon culture. AFIK, there's no formal term yet for all of these Urban Neo-Shamans that pop up from time to time. Just part of growing up I suppose. Someone smokes a bit of salvia, then all of a sudden, their passion becomes the path to knowledge, wisdom and understanding, and the coolest way to coin it is to call it shamanism.

But, theres nothing wrong with that. That, in its rawest form, is birth into the work of the shaman. But, the path must remain traveled and the virtues remain true. Else, you may end up a plumber or landscaper and leave the shaman work behind.

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OfflineKickleM
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Re: THE "I think i might be a SHAMAN" thread [Re: Bridgeburner]
    #10398255 - 05/25/09 08:05 PM (15 years, 27 days ago)

Shamans don't exist anymore.
Looking for such an individual by that title, is a mistake.
Looking for such an individual by the description, is more accurate.


--------------------
Why shouldn't the truth be stranger than fiction?
Fiction, after all, has to make sense. -- Mark Twain

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InvisibleMufungo
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Re: THE "I think i might be a SHAMAN" thread [Re: Bridgeburner]
    #10398367 - 05/25/09 08:23 PM (15 years, 27 days ago)

"I think I might be a shaman"... When? If they are already a shaman, wouldn't they know it rather than just "think they might be". If they already know, then what are they doing getting on a message board saying "I think I might be a shaman"? Quite incongruous. Unless that's just what shamans do. I don't know, is that what shamans do?

There's a BIG difference between what people 'think' they are and what they actually are. For instance, I might think I'm a doctor, but that doesn't mean I am. In order to become a doctor I have to qualify as a doctor and then practice as a doctor... until then, what right do I have in calling myself a doctor. Same goes with being a shaman. There are things a person needs to do to become a shaman and then they have to practice as a shaman before they can rightfully call themself a shaman. In the meantime, someone saying "I think I might be a shaman" is equivalent to children pretending to be doctors. It might be a fun fantasy, but lacks the substance to be taken as anything more than a fantasy.


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OfflineKickleM
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Re: THE "I think i might be a SHAMAN" thread [Re: Mufungo]
    #10398458 - 05/25/09 08:36 PM (15 years, 27 days ago)

:yesnod:
If a shaman does still exist, it is so far from it's initial roots as to be a completely different creature.

I'm of the opinion that a true 'shaman' would not take on the title of 'shaman'. Because a shaman is a healer who operates within societal bounds, as well as outside of. Walking that thin line.

A shaman as per the historical figure, would simply walk outside the societal boundaries currently in place. Why not leave the title 'shaman' in the past where it belongs, and move on to more modern descriptions?

This isn't to say that people don't still prescribe to the beliefs of shamanism, but the initial role of the shaman would need to shift with society in order to maintain the goal of community healer.


--------------------
Why shouldn't the truth be stranger than fiction?
Fiction, after all, has to make sense. -- Mark Twain

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InvisibleMufungo
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Re: THE "I think i might be a SHAMAN" thread [Re: Kickle]
    #10398605 - 05/25/09 09:03 PM (15 years, 27 days ago)

I don't think there are many occupations in the modern age which haven't come a long way from their initial roots.

Does it really matter if a shaman of today isn't like a shaman of long ago (assuming that there really were "shamans" long ago)?  I guess it might depend on one's own values around tradition.


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InvisibleQuetzalcohuatl
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Re: THE "I think i might be a SHAMAN" thread [Re: Mufungo]
    #10398750 - 05/25/09 09:34 PM (15 years, 27 days ago)

don't get caught up in semantics just focus on the underlying meaning of things, what it is is more important than what people call it and people are biased by their own subjective state of mind

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InvisibleQuetzalcohuatl
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Re: THE "I think i might be a SHAMAN" thread [Re: Quetzalcohuatl]
    #10398930 - 05/25/09 10:09 PM (15 years, 27 days ago)

schizophrenia isn't that bad you always have someone to talk to

and shamans are from fucking siberia not the fucking amazon

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OfflineKickleM
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Re: THE "I think i might be a SHAMAN" thread [Re: Mufungo]
    #10398958 - 05/25/09 10:13 PM (15 years, 27 days ago)

Quote:

Mufungo said:
I don't think there are many occupations in the modern age which haven't come a long way from their initial roots.

Does it really matter if a shaman of today isn't like a shaman of long ago (assuming that there really were "shamans" long ago)?  I guess it might depend on one's own values around tradition.




True that. I'm speaking from my personal values and my cultural surroundings.

I get the feeling that most everyone who posts here shares my culture, though. And in our culture, the shaman of old would be incredibly ineffective, except for purposes of stroking the ego. "I'm magic" and all that, which in my opinion, isn't about healing.

And yeah, a lot of my personal values are  being interlaced.

Just saying it how I see it.


--------------------
Why shouldn't the truth be stranger than fiction?
Fiction, after all, has to make sense. -- Mark Twain

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InvisibleMufungo
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Re: THE "I think i might be a SHAMAN" thread [Re: Quetzalcohuatl]
    #10398995 - 05/25/09 10:18 PM (15 years, 27 days ago)

Quetzalcohuatl, Have you got/had schizophrenia or have you any experience with other people who experience schizophrenia? I was just curious, feel free to tell me to get f@#ked.

Quote:

Wikipedia said:
Shamanism is a range of traditional beliefs and practices concerned with communication with the spirit world. A practitioner of shamanism is known as a shaman, pronounced /ˈʃɑːmən/, /ˈʃeɪmən/, (|ˈshämən; ˈshā-|) noun (pl. -man(s)).[2] There are many variations of shamanism throughout the world and several common beliefs are shared by all forms of shamanism. Shamans are intermediaries between the human and spirit worlds. According to believers, they can treat illness and are capable of entering supernatural realms to provide answers for human beings.[3]




This is the sort of shamanism I think we're discussing.


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OfflineKickleM
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Re: THE "I think i might be a SHAMAN" thread [Re: Mufungo]
    #10399022 - 05/25/09 10:24 PM (15 years, 27 days ago)

I think I backlashed a bit hard against the title of shaman.

I think the main thing I want to get across, and have considered, is that many who are 'shamans' do not title themselves shamans, because our current society has another name for them.

Such talents are still useful, when used in a way that benefits society. The way they benefit will be ever shifting, and the title attributed to the shaman will also change.


--------------------
Why shouldn't the truth be stranger than fiction?
Fiction, after all, has to make sense. -- Mark Twain

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