June 05, 2007

on Shamanism, Secrets and Stuff "When in my role as curious ethnographer, I've asked Santa Feans about their interest in this exotic form of healing, they have expressed their admiration for the beauty of the shamanistic tradition, the ability of shamans to "get in touch with their inner healing powers", and the superiority of spiritual treatments over the impersonal medical practice of our own society. ...And on what authority do we portray our kind of “freedom” as a universal example, or claim to possess great and useful knowledge about the human condition, when we ourselves are denied the freedom that is still granted today to any peasant-farmer or hunter gatherer drinking ayahuasca in jungle clearings in the Amazon - namely the freedom to investigate the mysterious depths of our own minds?” ...The narcissistic attitude that the universe is geared entirely for the individuals wish fulfillment, that indigenous mythologies and practices can be culled of their more irksome notions and subsumed into a safe, effortless intellectual process to further the spread of an increasingly neotenised global human culture would be laughable, if it did not have the potential for such disastrous consequences. ...I am certainly not alone in my perspective that we are at an increasingly precarious position in our species evolution, and although there is tentative hope, averting catastrophe seems to require concerted and collective efforts, the recognition that there is not ONE way to proceed, respect for all life on the planet, and a vast and immediate reconsideration of our cultural mechanisms.

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