Shamanism yet again.

Kotliar (viomar@ATHENS.NET)
Fri, 10 May 1996 15:21:11 -0500

Clyde Davenport writes

2. The shaman doesn't transcend the natural world, as much as she shows
the connection between the cultural and natural worlds. The shamanist is
thus only a bridge. And the reactionary (the shaman as a bridge to
culture) and the revolutionary (the shaman as a bridge to nature) types
often exist in a contadictory way in the same individual.

Me: Hmm this is interesting, but does anyone knowledgable about
shamanism know if this is a fair statement?

He continues:
3. If shamans go out of the body, it is only in the sense that the body is
a culturally created entity. Shamans don't really go anywhere, and this is
their power.

Me: I am not sure I fully understand this. I assume it means that a
shaman is just someone who takes advantage of the connection we all have
with the universe and the body as a barrier is just an illusion?

Clyde continues:
4. Magic to shamans is a kind of performance. They don't really believe
in it. On the other hand, just like ethnomethodologists they plumb its
surfaces. Thus, they believe in it at the same time that they don't
believe in it.

Me: Strongly disagree, the performance element does not mean the shaman
views him or herself as some sort of mountebank trying to pull the wool
over the foolish public's eyes. I think most shamans Do believe in their