The various roles in which a shaman undertakes are closely related to the cultures that one is likely to find shamanism (Walsh, 1989). This is because a shaman plays many roles for their culture. The cultures in which we are likely to find shamans are “simple nomadic hunting and gathering societies” (p. 8).
In these kinds of cultures, people do not generally rely on agriculture and have very little political organization or social class. As such, the shaman is left to play many roles: “medicine man, healer, ritualist, keeper of cultural myths, medium, and master of spirits” (p. 8). Krippner (2000) stated similar roles that shamans play: “Shamans were probably humanity’s original specialists, combining the roles of healers, storytellers, weather forecasters, performing artists, ritualists, and magicians” (p. 98).
Krippner (2002) added “shamans appear to have been humankind’s first psychotherapists [and] first physicians” (p. 970). References to shamans as physicians can be seen more than once in the literature. Shortly, we will liken a shaman to a ‘general practitioner... (click title for more)
In this paper, I will explore the history of shamanism along with the origins of the word shaman. I will identify varying definitions of what it means to be a shaman and explain some of the different roles that a shaman may carry out. I will identify how some shamans have lost their roles through the development of political/social stratification. I will also examine how it is that one becomes a shaman and have a small dialogue with regard to schizophrenia. To begin, we will delve into some of the history of shamanism along with a derivation of the word ‘shaman.’
History of Shamanism
Shamanism has been part of history for quite some time, but that does not necessarily mean that there is agreement within the academic community as to when shamanism began. According to Walsh (1996), “Paleolithic art from Europe dated to over 17,000 [years] ago and from South Africa dated to 25,000 years ago appear to show shamanic practices” (p. 96). However, the earliest known archaeological record of a shaman excavation was from a burial site in... (Click title for more)
Grâce à Régine Robin, qui fait partie des fées et enchanteurs heureusement croisés sur les chemins ouverts par les désirs épistémologiques et leurs compagnons émotionnels, j’ai découvert Marina Vainshtein...
“ En URSS des planches de dessins ont servi à décoder les tatouages inscrits sur la peau des prisonniers du Goulag, elles furent toutes réalisées par un ancien officier du ministère de l'Intérieur soviétique : Dantsig Baldaev (1925-2005).”
“ 7 Merveille de Tatouages pour les Hommes inspiration Polynésien et modèle/dessin Samoa Maori encrés sur une partie très personnelle du corps: le cou et derrière/devant les oreilles. Tous gentillesse from le Studio Californien Sef Samatua Island Tattoo.”
"In the study of indigenous religions, one of the issues a scholar faces is the gap between self-representation and scholarly classification, particularly with regard to the concept of ‘religion’. So how does the scholar of religion approach this issue? Shamanism is an interesting example, one which illustrates this problem, as this term was also coined by scholars, derived from one group in Siberia and applied cross-culturally to others, which then influenced diverse peoples to adopt the term when describing their traditions to outsiders, often in distinction to what is regarded as ‘religion’." by author Suzanne Owen
Given the seemingly differing opinions on the history of shamanism and the definition of a shaman, there seems to be substantially more agreement on the process by which one must undergo to become a shaman. According to Merchant (2006):
The ‘call of the spirits’ to the shamanic vocation is experienced as a serious and disturbing psychological phenomenon early in life (often at adolescence) and this initiatory illness is interpreted as a (mostly unsolicited) calling, which is not only experienced as a destiny/fate but is articulated in these cultures as an election by the spirits. A strenuous and difficult initiation follows, involving altered states of consciousness, dismemberment imagery and death/rebirth phenomena. (p. 133-4)
The candidate is not fully recognized by their cultural group as a shaman until they are able to demonstrate their abilities of mastery over the spirits and communicate with them to acquire information for the purposes of healing (Merchant, 2006). Metzner (1998), like Merchant (2006), referred to a process where the shaman-to-be has visions in which they see themselves being dismembered...(Click title for more)
“ 'Man is something that shall be overcome,' wrote Nietzsche. He may have never envisioned today's efforts to re-engineer the body, but he looks prophetic as pioneers aim to push the envelope of human capability.”
Via Robert Farrow, Phil Swingbylife
“ TATOUAGES - Pas toujours facile de passer à l'acte, même quand on en meurt d'envie. Les doutes sur le dessin que l'on souhaite ou sur la partie du corps que l'on veut tatouer, qui choisir, comment?”
A qualitative change in our information environment that is every bit as seismic as the meteor that marked the end of the dinosaurs. Deity-scale information capability. Complexity driving cognition to ever more competent techno-human networks. Perceptual, conscious, and subconscious processing increasingly outsourced to technology systems. Fragmentation of self across avatars in various increasingly engaging virtual realities. But any such list is misleadingly simplistic. The technological evolution impacting the self is not simply a case of interesting but isolated case studies but, rather, represents profound and accelerating evolution across the entire technological frontier. And the conscious self is where these must be integrated, or at least collated.
Happiness and other emotions spread between people in direct contact, but it is unclear whether massive online social networks also contribute to this spread. Here, we elaborate a novel method for measuring the contagion of emotional expression. With data from millions of Facebook users, we show that rainfall directly influences the emotional content of their status messages, and it also affects the status messages of friends in other cities who are not experiencing rainfall. For every one person affected directly, rainfall alters the emotional expression of about one to two other people, suggesting that online social networks may magnify the intensity of global emotional synchrony.
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