Scientific or Shamanic perspectives.

The study of religious or heroic legends and tales. One constant rule of mythology is that whatever happens amongst the gods or other mythical beings was in one sense or another a reflection of events on earth. Recorded myths and legends, perhaps preserved in literature or folklore, have an immediate interest to archaeology in trying to unravel the nature and meaning of ancient events and traditions.

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Postby Ishtar » Sat May 10, 2008 12:07 am

:lol:

Hoka hey, John boy! How're you doing?

Here's a little story for you to chuckle over in your sleep tonight.

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin.

Once upon a time, man lived in harmony with his ancestors, always honouring their memory and even including them, as if they were still alive, in the tribes' everyday lives and festival and feast days. And when he had a problem, he could always turn to them for their advice and guidance.

Then religion came along, and put a Sisyphian rock on man's back by telling him that he is responsible for the sins of his fathers - the Original Sin. So now his ancestors are a burden to him, instead of a help - and he has to worship a god he will never be good enough for, and to abide by a law that it is impossible for him to obey.

How the days dragged ....

But nothing last forever.... and so, finally, the great day dawns, and the darkness and superstition of religion has to release its hold on man, falling by the wayside in the triumph and glory of the great Enlightenment.

At last, the victory of science over religion frees man from the burden of his ancestors. Hooray! He is finally able to stand alone, tall and free to be who he really is- and so what is his first act in the Brave New World?

He goes in search of the common ancestor. 8)
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Postby john » Sat May 10, 2008 12:37 am

Ishtar wrote::lol:

Hoka hey, John boy! How're you doing?

Here's a little story for you to chuckle over in your sleep tonight.

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin.

Once upon a time, man lived in harmony with his ancestors, always honouring their memory and even including them, as if they were still alive, in the tribes' everyday lives and festival and feast days. And when he had a problem, he could always turn to them for their advice and guidance.

Then religion came along, and put a Sisyphian rock on man's back by telling him that he is responsible for the sins of his fathers - the Original Sin. So now his ancestors are a burden to him, instead of a help - and he has to worship a god he will never be good enough for, and to abide by a law that it is impossible for him to obey.

How the days dragged ....

But nothing last forever.... and so, finally, the great day dawns, and the darkness and superstition of religion has to release its hold on man, falling by the wayside in the triumph and glory of the great Enlightenment.

At last, the victory of science over religion frees man from the burden of his ancestors. Hooray! He is finally able to stand alone, tall and free to be who he really is- and so what is his first act in the Brave New World?

He goes in search of the common ancestor. 8)


Ishtar -

My byline - below - will suffice.

john
"Man is a marvellous curiosity. When he is at his very, very best he is sort of a low-grade nickel-plated angel; at his worst he is unspeakable, unimaginable; and first and last and all the time he is a sarcasm."

Mark Twain
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Postby Minimalist » Sat May 10, 2008 6:58 am

Potential shamans are usually identified from an early age because they are not like everyone else. They can tend to be reclusive, to have strange dreams ... basically, they're misfits.



But of course, there aren't any actual spirits so what you're really suggesting is that the tribe oddball got the job? Perhaps that's an improvement. Today we shoot such children up with ritalin to make them "normal."
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

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Postby Ishtar » Sat May 10, 2008 8:38 am

Yes, I think this highlights how much more inclusive some of these older tribes were. The very fact that, in their shamanic rituals, they sit in a circle around a fire is indicative of this attitude. The circle is an important symbol of inclusive and everyone being equally valued, because no-one can be said to sit at the head of a circle.

I heard recently about one tribe, still in existence, where an autistic boy, instead of being packed off to a special needs school, was treated as normal, and included in on many important more senior tasks because he was the best mathematician.
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Postby Minimalist » Sat May 10, 2008 9:30 am

Perhaps those cultures simply have a much wider span of conduct which they consider "normal," Ish. We moderns are not so tolerant of anyone who does not follow the straight and narrow path.

Could be one reason why so many people are so screwed up.
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

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Postby Ishtar » Sat May 10, 2008 9:57 am

Yes....I've often wondered if schizophrenia is related to this kind of stuff being pushed underground. It has to come out somehow, like grass forcing its way up through a pavement..even if it does get mangled on the way.

Anyway, I found this for you earlier, from the horse's mouth, Mircae Eliade:

In Central and Northeast Asia, the chief methods of recruiting shamans are 1) hereditary transmission of the shamanic profession and 2) spontaneous vocation (“call” or “election”). There are also cases of individuals who become shamans of their own free will (as, for example, among the Altaians) or by the will of the clan (Tungus, etc). But the self made shamans are considered to be less powerful than those who inherited the profession or obeyed the “call” of the gods and spirits. As for choice by clan, it is dependent upon the candidate’s ecstatic experience: if that does not follow, the youth appointed to take the place of the dead shaman is ruled out.


In other words, he has to walk the walk as well as talk the talk - otherwise he's out! 8)
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Postby Forum Monk » Sat May 10, 2008 11:31 am

Ishtar wrote:So ... you mean they have to live in remote caves as hermits, never talk to anyone, remain totally ignorant of what's going on in the world and never let anyone know they are there to help them ....sounds like they'd be a lot of use, don't you think? :lol:

Seeing as shamans have never lived in the way you suggest, FM, and have always been a part of the society they served, why should it be any different today? :lol:


Maybe I'm being a bit idealistic in my opinions. I would think that if a man or woman could truly heal someone of a serious malady, people would be beating down the door without need to advertise. And people would be willing to pay any cost, without need for the practicioner to ask for a dime.

Since we don't really see the idealistic situation, it seems as phony as a Benny Hinn Miracle Crusade.
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Postby rich » Sat May 10, 2008 12:22 pm

FM

Then explain why modern science had to look to so called "witchdoctor" medicines that apparently worked for some maladies that our own medical system couldn't find a cure for. And better yet - they worked well enough for drug companies to capitalize on them.
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Postby Manystones » Sat May 10, 2008 12:37 pm

Rich,

Most of the drugs on the world market are useless if not downright deadly. Pretty much all of the useful ones were discovered by chance in clinical settings or were adapted from traditional medicines. Pharmaceutical companies in the UK are the biggest contributors to the balance of trade deficit. R&D is big business, since animal experiments are mostly useless and futile it's no wonder that they've recently turned to the people of the rain forest for "new" medicines - that are in fact ancient. Witch doctor is nothing more than a label that we outsiders use to describe something we know little about.

Ishtar wrote:The very fact that, in their shamanic rituals, they sit in a circle around a fire is indicative of this attitude. The circle is an important symbol of inclusive and everyone being equally valued, because no-one can be said to sit at the head of a circle.


Rubbish Ishtar. Invariably a man-made fire is generally in the shape of a circle, and therefore sitting around it is to be expected. We used to sit around the camp fire as cub-scouts, there was no mention of shamanism then and neither did there need to be.
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Postby Ishtar » Sat May 10, 2008 12:39 pm

Forum Monk wrote:
Ishtar wrote:So ... you mean they have to live in remote caves as hermits, never talk to anyone, remain totally ignorant of what's going on in the world and never let anyone know they are there to help them ....sounds like they'd be a lot of use, don't you think? :lol:

Seeing as shamans have never lived in the way you suggest, FM, and have always been a part of the society they served, why should it be any different today? :lol:


Maybe I'm being a bit idealistic in my opinions. I would think that if a man or woman could truly heal someone of a serious malady, people would be beating down the door without need to advertise. And people would be willing to pay any cost, without need for the practicioner to ask for a dime.


FM, shamans are very good healers - you should try one some time! :lol:

But I'd like to address this subject of money as I can see where you're coming from on that. Probably something like, how can you charge for something that you claim is given to you anyway by the spirits, am I right?

But let's go back to the original shamans. We know that until even relatively recently in some parts of the world, the shamans had their place in their tribe and they were supported to do that work by their tribe. They were fed, clothed and housed by them and, in return, they would perform shamanic healings, bring back guidance and also carry their dead into to the next dimension.

This is why I said to you earlier that the shaman has always been a part and parcel of the community he serves, so why should you now decide he has to be a hermit? :lol:

But nowadays, with no tribes, and our Western society, at least, being set up differently, there is no community to to feed, clothe and house the shaman. So if no-one will pay for his services, he wil be unable to spend his time in that manner and thus perform these healings.

You are really paying for his time and his hard won expertise, as you would any other health practitioner.

Why not try a shamanic healing, sometime? Then you'll be in a better position to make the judgement as to how phoney it is? 8)
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Postby Manystones » Sat May 10, 2008 12:43 pm

But let's go back to the original shamans. We know that until even relatively recently in some parts of the world, the shamans had their place in their tribe and they were supported to do that work by their tribe. They were fed, clothed and housed by them and, in return, they would perform shamanic healings, bring back guidance and also carry their dead into to the next dimension.


Wow - so you must be able to travel through dimensions to pick this information up then Ishtar... That's amazing 'cause it actually reads like you are just making up this shit.
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Postby Ishtar » Sat May 10, 2008 12:46 pm

Manystones wrote:Rubbish Ishtar. Invariably a man-made fire is generally in the shape of a circle, and therefore sitting around it is to be expected. We used to sit around the camp fire as cub-scouts, there was no mention of shamanism then and neither did there need to be.


I was making two points at the same time, Manystones. I know that this may be rather a lot for you to handle at once, but do try to keep up. :lol:

1. Shamanic rituals take place in circles.
2. Circles, by their nature, are non-hierarchical
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Postby Ishtar » Sat May 10, 2008 12:48 pm

Manystones wrote:
But let's go back to the original shamans. We know that until even relatively recently in some parts of the world, the shamans had their place in their tribe and they were supported to do that work by their tribe. They were fed, clothed and housed by them and, in return, they would perform shamanic healings, bring back guidance and also carry their dead into to the next dimension.


Wow - so you must be able to travel through dimensions to pick this information up then Ishtar... That's amazing 'cause it actually reads like you are just making up this shit.


This is all very well documented by anthropologists, Manystones, about shamans in the late 19th and early 20th century. There's plenty of literature on it, if you know where to look.
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Postby Manystones » Sat May 10, 2008 12:54 pm

Ishtar wrote:But let's go back to the original shamans.

This is all very well documented by anthropologists, Manystones, about shamans in the late 19th and early 20th century.


Oh so, those are the Original shamans then are they - I thought you said they could be traced back to Palaeo times?

but you still haven't provided an ounce of proof.
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Postby Forum Monk » Sat May 10, 2008 1:00 pm

rich wrote:FM

Then explain why modern science had to look to so called "witchdoctor" medicines that apparently worked for some maladies that our own medical system couldn't find a cure for. And better yet - they worked well enough for drug companies to capitalize on them.


Its not happening as much as you would like to believe, Rich. I give you the case of Shaman Pharmaceuticals:

Shaman is a South San Francisco company founded in 1989 on the concept that traditional healing methods of shamans, or indigenous medicine men, can serve as the basis for modern-day drug development.


Other drug companies have stomping through the rain forests for quite awhile, and every now and agian, one gets lucky and finds something, but Shaman was among the first to rely on indegnious knowledge:

Giant pharmaceutical firms have long prospected the rain forests, screening randomly selected plants for potential products. But under Conte's direction, Shaman became one of the first companies to rely on the ancestral wisdom of native cultures. "It was a light bulb," Conte says. "Why not leverage out this knowledge of how plants have been used for thousands of years to get something that's more likely to be effective and safe?"


So Shaman has met with some success as they have short-circuited much of the hunt and search activities of the other companies:
Shaman is beginning to prove the point, having identified more than 3,000 possible sources of new drugs while sampling about 100 plants each year. The company's first product, Provir, is an extract of plant material used to combat acute diarrhea in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. Currently in Phase 2 clinical trials, it could be on the market in as little as three years. A topical ointment for herpes infection and an oral antifungal agent are also in the pipeline.


Whether the company will be successful remains to be seen. A healthy stock market has given Shaman a total value of more than $100 million and a two-year cash reserve, but the company is gambling on a drug-development tactic that hinges on the relief of disease symptoms rather than on causes--a method shunned by most drug companies. Critics say it is akin to using a cork to turn off a faucet without knowing how faucet knobs work. "There is an inherent risk," admits Conte. "But that lets us discover new ways that medicines can work because we're not constrained by known mechanisms of action."


Recently Shaman has gotten out of the pharmaceutical business and has opted, instead to restructure into an herbal medicine company. Guess the old indigineous knowledge was not as reliable as hoped.

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/artic ... -1,00.html
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