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Shamanism, The Once Universal Spirituality

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posted on Apr, 2 2015 @ 01:18 AM
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Shamanism is in no small part defined by the use of altered states of consciousness to penetrate beyond the normal barriers of our reality, and gain access to a wider range of information by this means. Over time, this inner exploration became replaced with institutionalized dogma. With the arising of such institutions, altering consciousness and inner exploration had to become an enemy. You had to rely on the dogma given to you by the institution. You don't get to have access to a broader range of the content of your consciousness. You simply have a belief system.

And thus it has been for thousands of years. Our original source of spiritual connection, altered consciousness, has been demonized. Personal spiritual, ecstatic experience has been replaced by belief. Our society is in many ways progressing. We're not dominated by religious institutions to the degree that we used to be. Yet the government has carried that torch in many regards. The war on drugs exemplifies this. Our original spiritual tools, consciousness-altering and visionary plants, are illegal, as a continued remnant of the dogmatic institutionalism which humanity is slowly crawling its way out of.

Shamanism was once the universal religion. And shamanism is not about shared dogma, but rather a system of personal spiritual experience, and methods to induce them. Even if plants were not used, other methods were used in an effort to alter consciousness. That our society shuns altering consciousness is an affront to our innate spirituality. The day will come when it will be seen as an embarrassment that we once jailed people for altering consciousness, letalone those which easily lend themselves towards spirituality. No different from the other various embarrassments of our past which also stem from the dogmatic institutionalism which we are shaking off. Sexism, racism, witch-hunting, and the like. I hope more of the forward thinkers in our society can come to see the truth of this issue, and its importance.




posted on Apr, 2 2015 @ 02:00 AM
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a reply to: TheJourney

www.amazon.com...

Picked this book up while I was visiting my brother in AZ a while back from this used book store.

I had actually just caught my eye the other day and planned to open her back up after putting it down a while back and never getting back to it.

Ever heard of the guy that wrote it?


+1 more 
posted on Apr, 2 2015 @ 02:07 AM
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originally posted by: TheJourney
Over time, this inner exploration became replaced with institutionalized dogma.


A psychic who visited the remains of a stone circle saw the original healer who gathered crowds at the spot where they were healed by a shaft of light stretching from the sky to the earth. The stone circle was built and healing gatherings went on for years. When the old man died the 'priests' he trained carried on the work. Over generations the priesthood became more and more corrupt until they simply lived at the site demanding tributes and withholding healing. Eventually the local people revolted, tore down the priests huts and abandoned the site.

In a similar way the old churches were used for celebration, dance, shelter, acoustical and other healing, and conducting rituals that illustrated and taught the natural cycles. Then seating was introduced. The congregations were told to sit down and shut up. Sermons were preached telling them what to believe and how to act. Recently a local church had all the seating removed during repairs. The acoustics were much improved allowing the church to function more efficiently as a resonant healing chamber. Some churches, pyramids, ancient stone chambers etc. are designed to enhance the vibrations of singing/chanting/music, prompting changes in consciousness and physical healing. Old stone churches are resonant healing chambers. They're worth visiting with this in mind. Observe and you will see how all the add-ons, seating etc., have disturbed the resonant qualities.

And so with Shamanism. You don't learn about Shamanism. You experience it. The best book on Shamanism would start with a foreword saying, 'You don't need this book'.



posted on Apr, 2 2015 @ 02:34 AM
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originally posted by: TheJourney



Shamanism was once the universal religion. And shamanism is not about shared dogma, but rather a system of personal spiritual experience, and methods to induce them. Even if plants were not used, other methods were used in an effort to alter consciousness. That our society shuns altering consciousness is an affront to our innate spirituality. The day will come when it will be seen as an embarrassment that we once jailed people for altering consciousness, letalone those which easily lend themselves towards spirituality. No different from the other various embarrassments of our past which also stem from the dogmatic institutionalism which we are shaking off. Sexism, racism, witch-hunting, and the like. I hope more of the forward thinkers in our society can come to see the truth of this issue, and its importance.


This right here is without a doubt absolute truth!

The absurd war on consciousness is at the root of every single problem that is permeating through our myriad of cultures. It is of the utmost importance that we, transcend the illusion of separation, the pure identification of ego, which results in the horrible disconnect we see!

What amazes me is how well this form of mind control works, because that is what it all boils down to does it not! The time to throw off the shackles has come and we see it all over the place!

Great job OP!



If you are not already familiar with the work of this amazing group! I believe that you will be pleasantly surprised!



posted on Apr, 2 2015 @ 02:52 AM
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originally posted by: Sremmos80


Could be interesting, but I have not heard of the author before.


originally posted by: elementalgrove

originally posted by: TheJourney



Shamanism was once the universal religion. And shamanism is not about shared dogma, but rather a system of personal spiritual experience, and methods to induce them. Even if plants were not used, other methods were used in an effort to alter consciousness. That our society shuns altering consciousness is an affront to our innate spirituality. The day will come when it will be seen as an embarrassment that we once jailed people for altering consciousness, letalone those which easily lend themselves towards spirituality. No different from the other various embarrassments of our past which also stem from the dogmatic institutionalism which we are shaking off. Sexism, racism, witch-hunting, and the like. I hope more of the forward thinkers in our society can come to see the truth of this issue, and its importance.


This right here is without a doubt absolute truth!

The absurd war on consciousness is at the root of every single problem that is permeating through our myriad of cultures. It is of the utmost importance that we, transcend the illusion of separation, the pure identification of ego, which results in the horrible disconnect we see!

What amazes me is how well this form of mind control works, because that is what it all boils down to does it not! The time to throw off the shackles has come and we see it all over the place!

Great job OP!



If you are not already familiar with the work of this amazing group! I believe that you will be pleasantly surprised!


Your analysis is very true. And I have heard of that organization before, and heard some good things. Thanks for the link though! It seems they are doing more than I realized. I am pleasantly surprised!



posted on Apr, 2 2015 @ 05:08 AM
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Great OP! S&F

Used to enjoy the Tribe TV series with Bruce Parry for the same reason. He was investigating the last tribes on earth, their lifestyles, their culture and their shamanistic ways before they disappear with modernization.



posted on Apr, 2 2015 @ 07:25 AM
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You guys might dig this.



👣



posted on Apr, 3 2015 @ 10:10 AM
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I really enjoyed this OP. Made my day today. It was a good read.

S&F

I agree with your sentiments TheJourney.

CdT



posted on Apr, 3 2015 @ 11:48 AM
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a reply to: TheJourney



Our society is in many ways progressing.


To me this like a stain in the op. Progressing? It would be called progress by your average joe, surely but here?.. You dont call such society or human civilization, that has become so depraved and illusory that their demise is within a few decades, as "progressing". Something born out of corrupted, false and rotten foundations cant in any way survive or lead to anything good. And the foundations are rooted so deeply in the subconscious mind, that it no longer is seen as it is, an abomination but as the normality, although very limited. You are an optimist but for your own good, you might want to try to drop it because eventually its gonna break you. Things are much easier to swallow when you half expect them but if you keep denying them or their possibilities, only expecting what you want reality to be, hell your sanity will take a blow, from which you will never recover.

To not be too off-topic: shamanism is still alive although new age people have no idea of its true worth and bottomless depth. And more than altered states of consciousness, its a way to transcend material limitations to a point even actual science would look like toddler's toys or pebbles thrown vainly on the moon's reflection on the ocean. Im not talking only of physical feats, but most of all, perception, comprehension and understanding of things unfathomable and maddening for the common mind. The hardest thing with shamanism, considering one's true WILL to learn it, is to let go of the notion that logic makes the world. You cant explain the world logically, at least not in the way #ty science is trying, in vain. Logic is a flaw, a fatal flaw of the current civilization and it will only go away with its devil's reject, or never.



posted on Apr, 3 2015 @ 03:52 PM
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originally posted by: TheJourney
... Our original spiritual tools, consciousness-altering and visionary plants, are illegal, as a continued remnant of the dogmatic institutionalism which humanity is slowly crawling its way out of.

I agree with much of what you wrote, however the quoted text above is not necessarily how it was anciently.

Even In the not so distant past, various cultures gave more credence to the dream state than they did the waking state. They did not need to alter their waking state, they simply needed to fall asleep to enter dreams and the magic of the subconscious and unconscious psyche.

The experience of the dream world psyche held far more relevance than the waking world did, and was often times the main basis for their life decisions. What was experienced in the dream state informed their waking state, and the signs in their dreams corresponded to aspects of their waking world, and decisions were made on that basis.

Of course, the dream state when consciously experienced is an altered state compared to the waking world, but in some very real sense, the waking state is also an altered state when compared to the dream state or sleep state. Unfortunately, due to what you have mentioned about the rigidness of institutionalized dogmatic belief systems, combined with rampant materialism destroying the natural world to a significant degree - the waking state has for many lost its magic, e.g., animals and natural environments have been replaced by cities, so animal signs and their significance are all but snuffed out.

The apparently "outer" world and the apparently "inner" psyche are not separate - they are one event. What is necessary is realizing that we live in a world that is psychic in nature - it is arising in consciousness and as such, what we experience "inwardly" is also manifested "outwardly" to one degree or another, and vice-versa - depending on the depth of our understanding and participation in the world as a psychic event. This is what the true shaman understood.

As we become more aligned to the psychic nature of awareness, we begin to see this synchronicity between the "inner" states and the "outer" states. It is a matter of understanding this underlying principle that we only ever experience psychic states or awareness itself. It is not about seeking for some experiences through various psychotropic substances, but about this core understanding of the inseparability of the inner and outer conditions.

Such substances, when used, were a formal ceremonial initiation into this principle, in which the initiate would then gain a deeper understanding of the psychic nature of our appearance here and live more on that basis rather than through belief systems, etc. But such substances' effects were at best a temporary means, and were used, if at all, with this understanding,

Also, the initiate would have hopefully already been introduced through the culture that the so-called "inner and outer" worlds are one psychic event, ultimately awareness itself - not just separate worlds un-impacted by each other.

Thank you for your thread.


edit on 4/3/2015 by bb23108 because:



posted on Apr, 3 2015 @ 05:10 PM
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Shamanism was never a religion. It was a personal methodology of spiritual journeying for the purposes of healing, communicating with spirits, addressing communal concerns and seeing in to the future. Shamans did not practice their craft for free either, usually payment was made by way of trade.

Shamans were born in to the craft or recognized as youthful potential and apprenticed for many years. The use of healing herbs was not limited to shamans though most considered them expert. Their combined use of song, chants, dancing, crystals, magic "tricks" and other artifices were thought to add greatly to the effect of herbal remedies.
Shamans were also gifted diagnosticians, able to discern diseased organs and sometimes the spiritual manifestation that brought on the illness.

Shamanism was practiced on every continent yet some practices were remarkably similar though separated by thousands of miles. Not all shamans used hallucinogenic plants, that was primarily in the western hemisphere through the former Alaskan-Russian land bridge in to Siberia.

The rise of organized religion was the demise of the shaman and both seemed to happen not long after a system of writing was introduced. In their quest for power the rulers of old didn't want anyone else being regarded as hobnobbing with God and the spirits, this was a power that only royalty had by divine right. Organized religion was brought about by Kings bent on absorbing all the power they could and so it was that only royalty or their officially-sanctioned religious intermediaries were able to commune with God, the common folk now had to go to them to address their spiritual concerns.

Recommended reading:

Flight of the Wild Gander, Atlas of World Mythology by Joseph Campbell,
The Spirit of Shamanism by Doug Walsh is a very good book on the subject.
The Way of Shaman by Michael Harner is a great introductory read.
Shamanism by Mircea Eliade is considered a classic though quite long and very dry reading.
The Dancing Healers by Carl Hammerschlag
There's any number of recent titles on the subject though most aren't worth reading - The Suburban Shaman, etc. etc. - bang a drum, meditate, let's pull out the crystals and do a sweat bath kind of stuff. Nothing wrong with any of those it's just become very common for people to use these arbitrarily without a full understanding of the process, it's cultural pedigree or intent. Elements of ritual IMO should be adopted because they have personal meaning or power to you, not because a book says it's a good thing to do.

Anyone wishing to dabble in shamanism would do well to know they are treading dangerous waters. You will be actively courting spirits just as a séance would. The same goes for hallucinogens, some people are unprepared for what they encounter and are permanently altered by the experience. This is not something to toy around with and I speak from personal experience. I discovered I wasn't cut out for it nor did I possess the right talents.

One final thought - no one proclaims themselves to be a shaman, this can only be conferred on one by their community of peers.
edit on 3-4-2015 by Asktheanimals because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 3 2015 @ 08:02 PM
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a reply to: TheJourney

The ingesting of mind altering substances does not bring one closer to the earth, or himself for that matter, but away from it further into his own distortion. Shamanism is what it is, the world as told through the lens of a cloudy eye and a poisoned body. Like any chance we get to retreat into our religious enthusiasm, it sounds romantic and fun, but in order to conclude it is required for understanding, one must ingest more of these substances to avoid the empirical facts.
edit on 3-4-2015 by Aphorism because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 3 2015 @ 08:25 PM
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a reply to: Aphorism

Shamanism was born in the deep recesses of a cave... complete darkness, silence and isolation. The womb of the world where the walls reveal familiar shapes by touch alone, feeling the curves of a lion, mammoth or a horse.

Shamanism has its insights in the sufferings of the wounded, sickly, insane or misshapen; those we now see as the 'unfit'.

Shamanism is revealed in the dance, unending, ecstatic and unrelenting, like Sufi whirling dervishers or a Sun Dance.

Shamanism today is knowing and understanding the world rather than trying to conquer it. Only our elders have such life wisdom.

'Cloudy eyes' are to shamanism as a day on the beach is to 40 days in the desert.
edit on 3/4/15 by masqua because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 3 2015 @ 10:09 PM
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a reply to: masqua

Shamanism has its insights into the suffering and wounded mind, that which has been stricken by fever, dilation, and euphoria, after it has chosen to ingest a narcotic.

Shamanism has not cured a single soul, it only has addicted souls, blackening the teeth of every witch-doctor.

Shamanism wants one dancing in circles so they can remain dizzy. Only the dizzy would assert enthusiasm as a path to anything other than enthusiasm.

Shamanism today does not exist because of these very reasons. A raccoon ingesting rotten berries forgets about his responsibilities.



posted on Apr, 3 2015 @ 11:43 PM
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a reply to: Aphorism

You know, tonight - I just had to explain to my children the origin of the 'Easter Bunny' which led into Santa Claus and the Tooth fairy and explain to them "Why" we teach children these fairy tales.

Do you know how easy it was to get them to see the "value" in such myths? Hope, love, giving to the less fortunate, hoping for peace on earth, a good harvest, a bountiful year, pulling in time so they come in straight...

Not hard at all. So what jades a person - to pervert it all in their perception?

And was it traumatic for my 6 & 8 year old to learn the truth? No it wasn't. It really wasn't. And now knowing the truth - do you think they will stop expecting Santa Claus (me) to bring them what they want for Christmas? or the tooth fairy (me) to bring them a dollar? Oh no - trust me - they still expect it... and I'll still do it - because I know the value of FAITH and so do they.


CdT



posted on Apr, 4 2015 @ 01:36 AM
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a reply to: TheJourney

Shamanism = consciousness altering plants.

In today's times where the plants you eat have been selected for you, and domesticated, we are closed off from the older lifestyle/culture where you went out into nature and gathered your own food.

In those days, eating consciousness altering plants was a common thing to do. I believe as many do, that this consciousness altering had a lot to do with our development as a species.

I also believe, some may not want you to be taking those things... He who controls the spice..



posted on Apr, 4 2015 @ 08:34 AM
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a reply to: nOraKat

Funny that you make a Dune reference.

realitysandwich.com...

👣



posted on Apr, 4 2015 @ 08:37 AM
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a reply to: Aphorism

You can put your theory to the test by visiting my Peyote church in AZ, Clark.

www.peyoteway.org/

👣



posted on Apr, 4 2015 @ 11:25 AM
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originally posted by: nOraKat
a reply to: TheJourney

Shamanism = consciousness altering plants.

In today's times where the plants you eat have been selected for you, and domesticated, we are closed off from the older lifestyle/culture where you went out into nature and gathered your own food.

In those days, eating consciousness altering plants was a common thing to do. I believe as many do, that this consciousness altering had a lot to do with our development as a species.

I also believe, some may not want you to be taking those things... He who controls the spice..



Yes that is true as well. You can imagine early humans going out to gather food. And you can imagine them getting their supply of visionary plants, alongside the rest. Also, as you suggest, I believe these plants had a lot to do with our development. We trace a significant part of the origination of culture to language, creativity, and a sense of spirituality. Do people really believe that the ancients would have been overcome with awe and a sense of the vastness and wonder of the universe in which they found themselves from lightning and the sun, moreso than a hefty amount of a visionary plant? I think not. I can't imagine anything giving anyone that sense more. New ways of thinking and expressing oneself also fits right into that territory.

And Aphorism, it goes without saying that I find your views on altering consciousness extremely misguided...



posted on Apr, 4 2015 @ 12:06 PM
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While there is an extremely long history (including prehistory) associated with ingestion of certain hallucinogens to what we understand as shamanism, it should also be understood that such practices are not the only shamanistic methods used.

To only concentrate on just one aspect of shamanism and to ignore, for instance, the 'Spirit Journey' of Native American culture, is rather like tunnel vision. I blame the current popularity and political ramifications involved in recreational drug use for that focus in this thread.

For instance, there’s Trance Dancing and also further evidence of shamanism in prehistoric art itself.



edit on 4/4/15 by masqua because: (no reason given)




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