What is Shamanism?
Shamanism is the way that religion was practiced for hundreds of thousands of years. It is not a relgion. It’s a collective term for ancient human religious practices. These practices always focused on the experience of the individual. The primacy of felt experience. These are the “Archaic techniques of ecstasy” as practiced by the technicians of the sacred.
Shamanism is a scientific methodology for attaining a certain kind of experience. And science has been around ever since we gained the world of inner consciousness.
The term originates from Siberia, but the practice dates back at least 150,000-250,000 years, perhaps longer.
What is a Shaman?
Shaman is a god and a human. Shaman is a sick man and a healed man. A shaman often is anti social and often spends most of his time in blissful solitue of the mind. Shamans hear their calling in many ways. Ancestral lineage, which is nonsnese in my opinion. Hereditary bonds are again of no use. Others would be shamans get training in the arts and traditions. Again useless in my opinion.
The true shaman is he or she selected by the spirits; by the Gaian mind; by the life force of the Earth to channel herself as energy to us. The spontaneously born shamans are the only true shamans.
As Ralph Linton said,
“The Shaman as a child usually shows marked introvert tendencies. When these inclinations become manifest they care encouraged by society. The budding shaman often wonder off and spends a long time by himself. He is rather anti-social in his attitudes and is frequently seized by mysterious illnesses of one sort or another.’
Shamanaism has often been compared with schizophrenia.
To quote Mircea Eliade,
“The primitive magician, the medicine man or the shaman is not only a sick man; he is above all, a sick man who has been cured, who has succeeded in curing himself.”
A technician of the Sacred, the shaman can journey with his soul into other realms of pure information. The Dehar shaman of Pakistan is a good example. They stand still, not moving, relaxing his posture and then fixing his attention on a ceremonial alter to such an extent that every external element in his vision is excluded from his gaze. He then begins to shiver, jerks spasmodically and enera an altered state of consciousness. The Bhang Sadhu of India are another example. They consume massive amounts of Bhang and Paganam Harmala and sit with eyes closed, exploring the depths of existence.
Dukun of Indonesia, Inuit of Arctic, Shamans of siberia, mongolia, nepal, India, etc. are are considered shamans, but here is the rub. There is no true shaman if the shaman doesn’t come from the connection with the spirits of the natural plant world.
Drums, costumes, objects… all of these are tools are arbitrary. The only true state of mind is the psychedelic state.
When observing various forms of shamanism in the world through my travels, what is most notable to me at the core of it all is Ecstacy. What is it?
Ecstasy is a labyrinthine emotion encompassing aspects of pleasure and pain, felicity and elation, triumph and terror, sorrow and empathy, surrender and submission. It is not one emotion or feeling but everything realized as the whole in the present moment.
Shamanism is Ecstasy. Pure. Simple. Untainted by desire. Untainted by sentimentality. Untainted by thought. It is the ultimate act of surrenderous submission that truly substantiates and authenticates the Primal Self and that which is submitted to; the mystery of existence, abandoning into the present moment and experiencing the depths of the Atma, the Soul, the Self, the Universe, and all of existence in the very literal sense.
Our bodies dance the dance of the Serpents of the Quantum Fields, waves, moving, slithering, and intertwining. At the heart of this mandalic dance of the Serpents is yourself, intoxicated on herbs of the Gaian Eden, singing, chanting and swaying in the breeze with the ancestral spirits, dancing, moving, slithering, worshipping, fusing into the surroundings and being one with all that is, was and could ever be, experiencing pure ecstasy, abandonment to the moment, disentanglement of being, and invoking a Universality of consciousness; a living and breathing enigma that exists within the body.