Tekster om sjamanisme PDF Skriv ut E-post

Takk til Trumman for samlingsarbeidet.

Att sjamanisera (verbet) går nog ikkje å lära ur en bok, men vi kan lära oss om sjamanismens og sjamanens historia. Man bör dock vara medveten og ha i tankarna, att de flesta som skrivit om sjamanismen har saknat 1a hands erfaring av det – så sjamanens sanna stemme blir sällan hörd. Därför är det extra viktigt att vi läser böcker av kunniga människor som lever med sjamanismen. F eks Ailo Gaup, Jonathan Horwitz, Sandra Ingerman, Christian Rätsch med flere. Enjoy!

The shaman "is a man who has immediate concrete experiences with gods and spirits; he sees them face to face, he talks to them, prays to them, implores them - but he does not 'control' more than a limited number of them."
- Mircea Ellade, Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy (1964), p. 89

samann: "one who is excited, moved, raised." (Tungus people of Siberia) The word "may be derived from an ancient Indian word meaning 'to heat oneself or practice austerities' or from a Tungus verb meaning 'to know'."
- Roger N. Walsh, The Spirit of Shamanism (1990), p. 8

"In the Tungus languages this term (saman) refers to persons of both sexes who have mastered spirits, who at their will can introduce these spirits into themselves and use their power over the spirits in their own interests, particularly helping other people, who suffer from the spirits."
- S. Shirokaogoroff, Psychomental Complex of the Tungus (1935), p. 269

"The word shaman comes to English from the Tungus language via Russian. Among the Tungus of Siberia it is both a noun and a verb. While the Tungus have no word for shamanism, it has come into usage by anthropologists, historians of religion and others in contemporary society to designate the experience and the practices of the shaman. Its usage has grown to include similar experiences and practices in cultures outside of the original Ural-Altaic cultures from which the term shaman originated. Thus shamanism is not the name of a religion or group of religions."
"Shamanism is classified by anthropologists as an archaic magico-religious phenomenon in which the shaman is the great master of ecstasy. "
- Dean Edwards, "Shamanism-General Overview" (FAQ)

"A first definition of this complex phenomenon, and perhaps the least hazardous, will be: shamanism = technique of ecstasy."
- Mircea Ellade, Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy (1964), p. 4

Ecstasy: "Being taken or moved out of one's self or one's normal state and entering a state of intensified or heightened feeling."
- Random House Dictionary

The shaman "commands the techniques of ecstasy - that is, because his soul can safely abandon his body and roam at vast distances, can penetrate the underworld and rise to the sky. Through his own ecstatic experience he knows the roads of the extraterrestrial regions. He can go below and above because he has already been there. The danger of losing his way in these forbidden regions is still great; but sanctified by his initiation and furnished with his guardian spirit, a shaman is the only human being able to challenge the danger and venture into a mystical geography."
- Mircea Ellade, Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy (1964), p. 182

The ceremonies of the Cult of the Horned god were first found in the Paleolithic cave paintings of Ariege which depicted a dancing figure in the skin of a horned animal.

Cave paintings from the Upper Paleolithic (20-30,000 years ago) depicts zig zags and dots combined with realistic images of animals against grid forms. (See Hypnogogic images.) Similar abstract geometric designs are also found in the ritual art of the South African bushman where the trance dance of the shaman is a central unifying force of the community. In the dance the shaman perceives his body as stretching and becoming elongated. His spirit soars out of the top of his head and is transformed into an animal. In the century old depictions of the trance dance, the bushman shaman absorb the energy of a dying eland and take on many of the magic animal's physical characteristics. He perceives his transformed state as similar to being under water; he has difficulty breathing and feels weightless. When he returns from his spirit journey he is able to perform healing and even his sweat supposedly posses curative powers. A few days later the shaman would be able to reflect upon his experience and paint it in natural rock shelters found in the surrounding cliffs. There was no esoteric stream of wisdom and everyone in the village would share in knowledge of the spirit world.

The Role and Psychology of the Shaman
"...Although shamanic practices were found in most regions of the world, they occur only in particular types of societies, primarily simple nomadic hunting and gathering societies. These peoples rely very little on agriculture and have almost no social classes or political organization."
- Roger N. Walsh, The Spirit of Shamanism (1990), p. 15

Common myths of these people "refer to a time when communication between heaven and earth was possible; in consequence of a certain event or a ritual fault, the communication was broken off, but heroes and medicine men are nevertheless able to reestablish it."
- Mircea Elliade, Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy

"In [Australian] Aboriginal society, like every other society, there were problems; droughts, shortages of food, people became sick or injured, and they died. Supernatural forces were blamed for almost every event, and magic and ritual used to correct the situation. The 'medicine man' or 'doctor' was a powerful man, and tried to cure many physical ills, sometimes by massage or sucking, to remove the 'evil' causing the pain, or by the application of natural medicines made from plants or roots. The emphasis on healing was on the spirit, rather than the body. It was the belief that the spirit was the primary resource of illness - evil thoughts act first on the spirit, and the physical symptoms came later ..."
- Michael_Humphrey, "Aborigines"

Shamans "are commonly described as displaying remarkable energy and stamina, usual levels of concentration, control of altered states of consciousness, high intelligence, leadership skills, and a grasp of complex data, myths, and rituals. So, although the symptoms and behavior of the shamanic initiation crises are unusual and even are by both Western and tribal standards, shamans not only reover but may function exceptionally well as leaders and healers of their people."
- Roger N. Walsh, The Spirit of Shamanism (1990), p. 153

"A study of Zinacanteco natives of Mexico showed a number of perceptual differences between shamans and nonshamans. In this study the experimenter showed a series of blurred, out-of-focus photographs nd asked the natives what they saw. Shamans were much less likely than nonshamans to say 'I don't know' even when the photographs were blurred to the point of being completely unrecognizable. Moreover, when the experimenter offered suggestions as to what the image might be, shamans were more likely than non-shamans to ignore the suggestions and to give their own personal interpretation.
"These findings suggest that shamans may be especially able to create meaningful patterns from unclear data - that is, they tend to organize ambiguous experiences into coherent meaningful images."
- Roger N. Walsh, The Spirit of Shamanism (1990), p. 118

"...An acute schizophrenic episode...is one of the most devastating experiences any human being can undergo. Psychological disorganization is extreme, disrupting emotions, thought, perception, and identity. Victims can be completely overwhelmed, plunged into a nightmare of terror and confusion, haunted by hallucinations, swept from their usual sense of reality and identity, and lost in a private autistic world."
"This schizophrenic experience is very different from the shamanic journey. The shaman's experience is coherent, meaningful, and consistent with the purpose of the journey. In addition the shaman has good control of his experience, heightened concentration, and a clear, coherent sense of identity. The shaman experiences leaving her body and roaming at will. By comparison with the almost invariable terror of the schizophrenic, the shaman's experience may be a source of wonder and delight."
In addition "Shamans are often outstanding members of the community and may display considerable intellectual, artistic, and leadership skills and make significant contributions to their community. Such skills and contributions are very rare among schizophrenics."
- Roger N. Walsh, The Spirit of Shamanism (1990), pp. 224, 226

Induction and Initiation -- The Call to Shamanism
"It is only in the face of death that man's self is born."
- St. Augustine

"A common experience of the call to shamanism is a psychic or spiritual crisis, which often accompanies a physical or even a medical crisis, and is cured by the shaman him or herself....The shaman is often marked by eccentric behavior such as periods of melancholy, solitude, visions, singing in his or her sleep, etc. The inability of the traditional remedies to cure the condition of the shamanic candidate and the eventual self cure by the new shaman is a significant episode in development of the shaman. The underlying significant aspect of this experience, when it is present, is the ability of the shaman to manage and resolve periods of distress."
- Dean Edwards, "Shamanism-General Overview" (FAQ)

Among the Chukchee Indians:
"For men the preparatory stage of shamanistic inspiration is in most cases very painful, and extends over a long time. The call comes in an abrupt and obscure manner, leaving the young novice in much uncertainty regarding it.... He feels 'bashful' and frightened; he doubts his own disposition and strength, as has been the case with all seers, from Moses down. Half unconsciously and half against his own will, his whole soul undergoes a strange and painful transformation. This period may last months, and sometimes even years. The young novice, the 'newly inspired' (turene'nltvillin), loses all interest in the ordinary affairs of life. He ceases to work, eats but little and without relishing the food, ceases to talk to people, and does not even answer their questions. The greater part of his time he spends in sleep."
- W. Bogaras, The Chukchee (1909), p. 420

"A shaman may exhibit a particular magical specialty (such as control over fire, wind or magical flight). When a specialization is present the most common is as a healer. The distinguishing characteristic of shamanism is its focus on an ecstatic trance state in which the soul of the shaman is believed to leave the body and ascend to the sky (heavens) or descend into the earth (underworld). The shaman makes use of spirit helpers, which he or she communicates with, all the while retaining control over his or her own consciousness. (Examples of possession occur, but are the exception, rather than the rule.) It is also important to note that while most shamans in traditional societies are men, either women or men may and have become shamans."
- Dean Edwards, "Shamanism-General Overview" (FAQ)

Exaggerated Rhythm
A common method of inducing a trance state is to listen to the protracted pounding of a drum.

"Dancing, music and other exaggerations of natural rhythm have been pressed into the same service by the Greek initiates of Dionysus, by the gnostics, by innumerable other mystic cults. That these proceedings do effect a remarkable change in the human consciousness is proved by experience: though how and why they do it is yet little understood.
"Shamans too have used these techniques. Drums and rattles have been their most widely used instruments. When a drum is played at a tempo of some 200 to 22 beats per minute, most Western novices report that they can journey successfully even on their first attempt."
- Roger N. Walsh, The Spirit of Shamanism (1990), p. 174

"By entering an ecstatic state, induced by ritual dancing and the invocation of spirits, the shaman is believed able to return to that time, visiting heaven and hell to talk with gods, spirits of the dead, and animals."
- Cosmic Duality

Psychoactive sacraments/Entheogens
"Shamans reach the state that gives them access to the supernatural world in a variety of ways. A very common way is by ingesting mind-altering drugs of various types."
- James Davila, "Enoch as a Divine Mediator"

"It is the Siberian and Latin American shamans who have most often employed psychedelics as booster rockets to launch their cosmic travels. In Siberia the preferred substance has been the mushroom known as Amanita muscaria or agaric. This is perhaps the much-praised soma of early Indian religion as well as one of the drugs referred to in European legends."
- Roger N. Walsh, The Spirit of Shamanism

Psychologists differentiate two stages in trance states induced by drugs, fasting and/or sensory deprivation.
1.) Antopic forms - abstract geometric forms such as grids, dots and spirals
2.) Realistic images from memory combined in surreal ways against a geometric background.
The Paleolithic paintings depicts similar hallucinatory images to the modern bushman's but differ in one respect; they were not done out in the open but in the deep, dark recesses of caves. Was the sensory deprivation of being immersed in the dark a means of inducing a trance state in the Cro-Magnon shaman?
- "Images of Another World"
An episode of Ancient Mysteries broadcast by the A&E Network

"Hypnogogic images are the germinal stuff of dreams, and they usually begin with flashes of light. Often, an illuminated circle, lozenge, or other generally round form appears to come nearer and nearer, swelling to gigantic size. This particular image is known as the Isakower phenomenon, named after an Austrian psychoanalyst who first identified it. Isakower claimed the image was rooted in the memory of the mother's breast as it approached the infant's mouth."
"Hypnagogic images can be interpreted in many different ways. Literally and figuratively, it's all in the eye of the beholder. The drowsy person in the hypnagogic state is just as open to suggestions as subjects in the hypnotized state."
"When people start floating in the hypnagogic state, the amplitude and frequency of brainwaves decrease. The alpha rhythms of wakefulness are progressively replaced by slower theta activity. This translates to a loss of volitional control, a sense of paralysis. As the person descends further into sleep itself, the outside physical world retreats to the fringe of consciousness and the new reality becomes the internal dream world."

The final stage of hypnagogic images is, "polyopia, the multiplication of the image, usually seen in one eye....These specks of light...are produced by electrical activity in the visual system and brain. One can almost imagine the specks representing electric sparks flying along the neural pathways of the brain." They may look like hundred of stars "but they can also take the form of spots, circles, swirls, grids, checkerboards, or other figures composed of curves or lines. They are easy to see in the dark, but, in the light, they are on the borderline of perception."
"Even when the hypnagogic forms are not consciously noticed, they can still register as subliminal stimuli and influence subsequent image formation and fantasy."
- Ronald K.Siegel, Fire in the Brain

Sensory Deprivation
"Less direct methods are also widely practiced. These include various forms of isolation and self-denial, such as fasting, solitary confinement, celibacy, dietary and purity restrictions, and protracted prayer. Igjugarjuk, a Caribou Inuit shaman, claims to have been isolated by his mentor in a small snow hut where he fasted and meditated in the cold, drinking only a little water twice, for thirty days. After his initiatory vision (see below) he continued a rigorous regime involving a special diet and celibacy. Leonard Crow Dog, a Native American Sioux shaman, describes in detail the process of his first vision quest. He participated in a sweat lodge ceremony for spiritual cleansing, then was taken to a fasting place of his family's, where he was wrapped naked in a blanket and left in a hole to fast and pray alone for two days (an adult shaman will fast four or more days). Wallace Black Elk also frequently describes both the sweat lodge ('stone-people-lodge') ceremony and the vision quest. Ascetic practices by Japanese shamans are especially prevalent among those who actively seek shamanhood rather than being called by a deity. These practices include fasting and dietary restrictions of various kinds, seclusion in a dark place, walking pilgrimages between sacred places, and rigorous regimes of immersion and bathing in ice-cold water. These disciplines, especially the endurance of cold, eventually fill the shaman with heat and spiritual might."
- James Davila, "Enoch as a Divine Mediator"

Similar practices can be found in Jewish mysticism dating from at least the 5th-6th c C.E.

"Let him who would join himself to the prince of Torah wash his garments and his clothes and let him immerse (in) a strict immersion as a safeguard in case of pollution. And let him dwell for twelve days in a room or in an upper chamber. Let him not go out or come in, and he must neither eat nor drink. But from evening to evening see that he eats his bread, clean bread of his own hands, and he drinks pure water, and that he does not taste any kind of vegetable. And let him insert this midrash of the prince of Torah into the prayer three times in every single day; it is after the prayer that he should pray it from its beginning to its end. And afterward, let him sit and recite during the twelve days, the days of his fasting, from morning until evening, and let him not be silent. And in every hour that he finishes it let him stand on his feet and adjure by the servants (and?) by their king, twelve times by every single prince. Afterward let him adjure every single one of them by the seal."
- Sar Torah, paras. 299-300

Body Dismemberment
The shaman is said to 'make a journey,' during which he is spoken to by the spirits, who give him curing instructions and make their wishes known for certain kinds of propitiatory sacrifices; they may also appear to him in the form of visions or apparitions. Motifs of death and rebirth, often involving bodily dismemberment and reassimilation, are common in shamanism..."
- McKenna and McKenna, The Invisible Landscape

"...The important moments of a shamanic initiation are these five; first, torture and violent dismemberment of the body; second, scraping away of the flesh until the body is reduced to a skeleton; third, substitution of viscera and reveal of the blood; fourth, a period spent in Hell, during which the future shaman is taught by the souls of dead shamans and by 'demons'; fifth, an ascent to Heaven to obtain consecration from the God of Heaven"
- Mircea Eliade, Rites and Symbols of Initiation

"Before a shaman attains the stage at which any helping spirit would think it worth while to come to him, he must, by struggle and toil and concentration of thought, acquire for himself yet another great and inexplicable power: he must be able to see himself as a skeleton. Though no shaman can explain to himself how and why, he can, by the power his brain derives from the supernatural, as it were by thought alone, divest his body of its flesh and blood, so that nothing remains but his bones.... By thus seeing himself naked, altogether freed from the perishable and transient flesh and blood, he consecrates himself, in the sacred tongue of the shamans, to his great task, through that part of his body which will longest withstand the action of sun, wind and weather, after he is dead."
- K. Ramussen, Intellectual Culture of the Igluilik Eskimos (1929), p. 114

"Frequently a candidate will gain shamanic powers during a visionary experience in which he or she undergoes some form of death or personal destruction and disintegration at the hands of divine beings, followed by a corresponding resurrection or reintegration that purges and gives a qualitatively different life to the initiate. For example, the Siberian (Tagvi Samoyed) Sereptie, in his long and arduous initiatory vision (on which see below), was at one point reduced to a skeleton and then was 'forged' with a hammer and anvil. Autdaruta, an Inuit initiate, had a vision in which he was eaten by a bear and then was vomited up, having gained power over the spirits."
- James R. Davila, "Hekhalot Literature and Mysticism"

"I saw that I was painted red all over, and my joints were painted black, with white stripes between the joints. My bay had lightning stripes all over him and his mane was cloud. And when I breathed, my breath was lightning."
- Nick Black Elk, in the narrative of his Great Vision

Shamans may believe that "they are cut up by demons or by their ancestral spirits; their bones are cleaned, the flesh scraped off, the body fluids thrown away, and their eyes torn from their sockets.... His bones are then covered with new flesh and in some cases he is also given new blood."
- H. Fabrega and D. Silver, "Some Social and Psychological Properties of Zinacanteco Shamans", Behavioral Science 15, 471-86 (1970), p. 203

"This dismemberment experience is similar to that of the Tibetan tantric practice of gChod. Here practitioners cultivate deachment and compassion by visualizing their bodies being dismembered and offered to wrathful deities and hungry demons to at. The major difference seems to be that whereas for the tantric these experiences are recognized as voluntary visualizations, for the shaman they are experienced as involuntary trials."
"The experience of death and rebirth, dismemberment and reconstitution, appears to be a psychological and/or spiritual transformative process most likely to occur at times of overwhelming emotional arousal and stress. This arousal activates psychological tensions and conflicts to unsustainable levels. The result is a crisis in which old patterning forces are no longer able to maintain the former psychological balance. The old psychodynamic forces, conflicts, habits, conditioning, organization, beliefs, and identity are overwhelmed and the psyche's organization temporarily collapses."
- Roger N. Walsh, The Spirit of Shamanism (1990), pp. 60, 63

"What is destroyed in this process is the old, limiting concept of oneself and the corresponding restricting view of existence and of the universe."
- S. Grof, LSD Psychotherapy (1980), p. 170

Seeing Spirits
"The ecstatic experience of the shaman goes beyond a feeling or perception of the sacred, the demonic or of natural spirits. It involves them shaman directly and actively in transcendent realities or lower realms of being."
"The shaman is not recognized as legitimate without having undergone two types of training:
1) Ecstatic (dreams, trances, etc.)
2) Traditional ('shamanic techniques, names and functions of spirits,mythology and genealogy of the clan, secret language, etc.)
The two-fold course of instruction, given by the spirits and the old master shamans is equivalent to an initiation.' [Mircea Eliade, The Encyclopedia of Religion, v. 13 , p. 202; Mcmillian, N.Y., 1987.] It is also possible for the entire process to take place in the dream state or in ecstatic experience."
- Dean Edwards, "Shamanism-General Overview" (FAQ)

"The novice's task of learning to see the spirits involves two stages. The first is simply to catch an initial glimpse of them. The second is to deepen and stabilize this glimpse into a permanent visionary capacity in which the spirits can be summoned and seen at will."
"The spirits are usually sought under specific conditions such as reduced lighting and altered states of consciousness, conditions that enhance awareness of visual imagery. Trance and drug states intensify images, and darkness enhances sensitivity to them."
- Roger N. Walsh, The Spirit of Shamanism (1990), p. 118

A shaman from a South American tribe rubs herbs onto the eyes of an initiate: "For three days and nights the two men sit opposite each other, singing and ringing their bells. Until the eyes of the boy are clear, neither of the two men obtains any sleep. At the end of the three days the two again go to the woods and obtain more herbs. . . . If at the end of seven days the boy sees the wood-spirits, the ceremony is at an end. Otherwise the entire seven day ceremony must be repeated."
- E. Loeb, "Shaman and Seer", American Anthropologist 41, 60-84 (1929)

The Eskimo shaman, lgjugarjuk endured a grueling initiation in isolation during the depth of winter. "Ig'ugarjuk declared that the strain of those thirty days of cold and fasting was so severe that he 'sometimes died a little.' During all that time he thought only of the Great Spirit, and endeavored to keep his mind free from all memory of human beings and everyday things. Toward the end of the thirty days there came to him a helping spirit in the shape of a woman. She came while he was asleep and seemed to hover in the air above him. After that he dreamed no more of her, but she became his helping spirit. For five months following this period of trial, he was kept on the strictest diet, and required to abstain from all intercourse with women. The fasting was then repeated; for such fasts at frequent intervals are the best means of attaining to knowledge of hidden things."
- K. Ramussen, Across Arctic America (1927), p. 84

"All this long and tiring ceremony has as its object transforming the apprentice magician's initial and momentary and ecstatic experience...into a permanent condition - that in which it is possible to see the spirits."
- Mircea Elliade, Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy

"Among the Eskimo shaman's clairvoyance is the result of qaumenaq, which means 'lightning' or 'illumination'. It is a mysterious light which the shaman suddenly feels in his body, inside his head, within the brain, enabling him to see in the dark, both literally and metaphorically speaking, for he can now even with closed eyes, see through darkness and perceive things and coming events which are hidden from others. With the experience of the light goes a feeling of ascension, distant vision, clairvoyance, the perception of invisible entities and foreknowledge of the future. There is an interesting parallel, despite differences, in the initiation of Australian medicine-men, who go through a ritual death, and are filled with solidified light in the form of rock-crystals; on returning to life they have similar powers of clairvoyance and extra-sensory perception."
- John Ferguson, An Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Mysticism and the Mystery Religions

"The next thing an old shaman has to do for his pupil is to procure him anak ua by which is meant his 'angakoq', i.e., the altogether special and particular element which makes this man an angakoq (shaman). It is also called his quamenEg his 'lightning' or 'enlightenment', for anak ua consists of a mysterious light which the shaman suddenly feels in his body, inside his head, within the brain, an inexplicable searchlight, a luminous fire, which enables him to see in the dark both literally and metaphorically speaking, for he can now, even with closed eyes see through darkness and perceive things and coming events which are hidden from others; thus they look into the future and into the secrets of others.
"The first time a young shaman experiences this light...it is as if the house in which he is suddenly rises; he sees far ahead of him, through mountains, exactly as if the earth were on a great plain, and his eyes could reach to the end of the earth. Nothing is hidden from him any longer; not only can he see things far, far away, but he can also discover souls, stolen souls, which are either kept concealed in far, strange lands or have been taken up or down to the Land of the dead."
- K. Rasmussen, Intellectual Culture of the Iglulik Eskimos

A Transpersonal Experience
"And then in the midst of such a fit of mysterious and overwhelming delight I became a shaman, not knowing myself how it came about. But I was a shaman. I could see and hear in a totally different way. I had gained my quameneq ('lightning'), my enlightenment, the shaman-light of brain and body, and this in such a manner that it was not only I who could see through the darkness of life, but the same light also shone out from me, imperceptible to human beings, but visible to all the spirits of earth and sky and sea, and these now came to me and became my helping spirits."
- The Eskimo shaman Aua, quoted in Intellectual Culture of the Igluilik Eskimos (1929), p. 119

"The totem-spirit-animal inhabits the mind of the shaman. Thus the shaman might think, feel, see and smell as wolf for example. Alternatively the shaman may in fact possess the body of the animal, and ride within the wolf, sharing what the wolf sees and feels, thus providing the wolf the added bonus of human intelligence and experience."
- Jean de Cabilis, "Demonic Possession" (1993)

"Perhaps the most dramatic example among religious traditions is the so-called 'deity yoga' of Tibetan Buddhism. Here the yogi visualizes himself first creating and then merging with a godlike figure who embodies virtue upon virtue: unconditional love, boundless compassion, profound wisdom, and more. After merging, just like the shaman and her power animal dance, the yogi attempts to move, speak, and act as the deity. In other words, after merging with their allies, both shaman and yogi attempt to embody, experience, and express their allies' qualities. The difference is that for the shaman the power animal ally is regarded as real, whereas for the yogi the deity is ultimately regarded as a mental creation and projection."
- Roger N. Walsh, The Spirit of Shamanism (1990), pp. 122-123

"Thou art in me and I am in thee; and thy attributes are my attributes. I am the god of the inundation (Bah), and Qem-ur-she is my name. My forms are the forms of the god Khepera [the father of the gods who symbolizes resurrection], the hair of the earth of Tem [the source of creation]. I have entered in as a man of no understanding, and I shall come forth in the form of a strong Spirit, and I shall look upon my form which shall be that of men and women for ever and ever."
- Egyptian Book of the Dead, Chapter LXIV (short version)

A "possibility for transpersonal psychologists would be that these spiritual sources of wisdom represent transcendent aspects of the psyche 'above and beyond' the ego. Several such transcendent aspects of the psyche have been described in both Eastern and Western psychologies. Western examples include the higher Self; the transpersonal witness; the Junglan Self, which is the center of the psyche; and the inner self helper, which is a helpful and apparently transcendent personality that occurs in multiple personalities."
- Roger N. Walsh, The Spirit of Shamanism (1990), p. 131

Carl Jung writes about his inner teacher, Philemon, who appeared to him in a dream: "Suddenly there appeared from the right a winged being sailing across the sky. I saw that it was an old man with the horns of a bull. He held a bunch of four keys, one of which he clutched as if he were about to open a lock. He had the wings of the kingfisher with its characteristic colors.... Philemon and other figures of my fantastes brought home to me the crucial insight that there are things in the psyche which I do not produce, but which produce themselves and have their own life. Philemon represented a force which was not myself. In my fantasies I held conversations with him, and he said things which I had not consciously thought. For I observed clearly that it was he who spoke, not I.... I understood that there is something in me which can say things that I do not know and do not intend, things which may even be directed against me.
"Psychologically, Philemon represented superior insight. He was a mysterious figure to me. At times he seemed to me quite real as if he were a living personality. I went walking up and down the garden with him, and to me he was what the Indians call a guru."
- Carl Jung, Memories, Dreams and Reflections (1961), pp. 182-183

A Second Real World - Soul Travel
"The pre-eminently shamanic technique is the passage from one cosmic region to another - from earth to the sky or from earth to the underworld. The shaman knows the mystery of the breakthrough in plane. This communication among the cosmic zones is made possible by the very structure of the universe."
- Mircea Eliade, Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy

In lucid dreams "strange worlds and scenes seem to arise spontaneously, but we are usually able to control our responses to them and, if we wish, to awaken from the dream at any time. The shaman's control during journeys is similar, and lucid dreams may well have provided inspiration for early shamanic journeys."
- Roger N. Walsh, The Spirit of Shamanism (1990), p. 220

"He commands the techniques of ecstasy - that is, because his soul can safely abandon his body and roam at vast distances, can penetrate the underworld and rise to the sky. Through his own ecstatic experience he knows the roads of the extraterrestrial regions. He can go below and above because he has already been there. The danger of losing his way in these forbidden regions is still great; but sanctified by his initiation and furnished with his guardian spirit, a shaman is the only human being able to challenge the danger and venture into a mystical geography."
- Mircea Elliade, Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy

"In the ages of the rude beginnings of culture, man believed that he was discovering a second real world in dream, and here is the origin of metaphysics. Without dream, mankind would never have had occasion to invent such a division of the world. The parting of soul and body goes also with this way of interpreting dream; likewise, the idea of a soul's apparitional body: whence, all belief in ghosts, and apparently, too, in gods."
- Neitzsche, Human, All-Too-Human

"We must recognize ourselves as beings of four dimensions. Do we not in sleep live in a fantastic fairy kingdom where everything is capable of transformation, where there is no stability belonging to the physical world, where one man can become another or two men at the same time, where the most improbable things look simple and natural, where events often occur in inverse order, from end to beginning, where we see the symbolical images of ideas and moods, where we talk with the dead, fly in the air, pass through walls, are drowned or burnt, die and remain alive?"
- P. D. Ouspensky

The Cosmic Zones
"The main feature of the shamans' universe is...the cosmic center, a bond or axis connecting earth, heaven and hell. It is often pictured as a tree or a pole holding up the sky. In a trance state, a shaman can travel disembodied from one region to another, climbing the tree into the heavens or following its downward extension. By doing so he can meet and consult the gods. There is always a numerical factor. He climbs through a fixed number of celestial stages, or descends through a fixed number of infernal ones. His key number may be expressed in his costume - for example, in a set of bells which he attaches to it. The key number varies from shaman to shaman and from tribe to tribe."
- Geoffrey Ashe, The Ancient Wisdom

"...There are three great cosmic regions, which can be successively transversed because they are linked together by a central axis. This axis, of course, passes through an 'opening', a 'hole'; it is through this hole that the gods descent to earth and the dead to the subterranean regions; it is through the same hole that the soul of the shaman in ecstasy can fly up or down in the course of his celestial or infernal journeys."
- Mircea Ellade, Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy (1964), p. 21

"The distinctive feature of the shamanic ecstasy is the experience of 'soul flight' or 'journeying' or 'out-of-body experience.' That is, in their ecstatic state shamans experience themselves, or their soul or spirit, flying through space and traveling either to other worlds or to distant parts of this world. In Ellade's words, 'The shaman specializes in a trance during which his soul is believed to leave his body and ascend to the sky or descend to the underworld.' "These flights reflect the shamanic view of the cosmos. This comprises a three-tiered universe of upper, middle, and lower worlds, the middle one corresponding to our earth. The shaman ranges throughout this threefold world system in order to learn, obtain power, or to diagnose and treat those who come for help and healing. During these journeys shamans may experience themselves exploring other worlds and meeting the people, animals, or spirits who inhabit them, seeing the cause and cure of a patient's 'illness, or interceding with friendly or demonic forces."
- Roger N. Walsh, The Spirit of Shamanism (1990), p. 10

"Entrances into the Lower world commonly lead down into a tunnel or tube that conveys the shaman to an exit, which opens out upon bright and marvelous landscapes. From there the shaman travels wherever he desires for minutes or even hours, finally returning back up through the tube ... to emerge at the surface, where he entered."
- Michael Harner, The Way of the Shaman (1982), p. 27

"Journeys to the middle or upper worlds have the same general features as those to the lower world. There are, however, some differences in purpose and in the types of entities likely to be encountered. The lower world is often a place of tests and challenges, but it is also a place where power animals are acquired and the shaman is guided and empowered to victory."
"The middle world is our familiar world. In their visions shamans journey over it at will, unimpeded by barriers or distance, seeing far and wide, and returning with information about hunting, weather, or warfare. Middle-world journeys are particularly common in the near-Arctic areas of North America and Siberia. Here food supplies are precarious and migrating animal herds must be located." "The upper world is a place where teachers and guides may be found, and 'journeys here may be particularly ecstatic."
- Roger N. Walsh, The Spirit of Shamanism (1990), p. 147

An Experience of Awe
There is "an ineffable joy in what he sees, an awe of the beautiful and mysterious worlds that open before him. His experiences are like dreams, but waking ones that feel real and in which he can control his actions and direct his adventures."
- M. Harner, The Way of the Shaman (1982), p. 27

"The journey to the upper world usually begins from a raised area such as a mountain, treetop, or cliff, from which the shaman envisions himself ascending into the sky. At some stage of the journey there may be an experience of a kind of membrane that temporarily impedes the ascent. When this is pierced the shaman finds himself in the upper world, a world notably different from the middle world and perhaps populated with strange animals, plants, and people. Like the lower one, the upper world may have several levels, and the shaman can usually move between them at will, perhaps assisted by a helping spirit."
- Roger N. Walsh, The Spirit of Shamanism (1990), p. 147

"During journeys awareness of the environment is significantly reduced. This is hardly surprising since the shaman is preoccupied with life-and-death dramas in other worlds. In spite of these other-world adventures, the shaman may be able to split her awareness between those worlds and this one sufficiently to communicate with her audience. In such cases the listeners may be treated to a blow-by-blow account of the worlds, spirits, and battles encountered by the shaman."
- Roger N. Walsh, The Spirit of Shamanism (1990), p. 220

"Among religions, practitioners of Taoism, Islam, Yoga, and Tibetan Buddhism may journey to other realms. Among Taoists visualizations were believed to help the adept ascend to paradise. In the course of the visualization he crossed the gates of the three celestial passes to enter the Yu-ching Heaven, where he undertook an excursion of paradise. Some Indian Muslims practice 'allowing the soul to explore the spirit world;' helped on its way with hashish, which they call the 'heavenly guide or poor man's heaven.' In contrast to shamanism, however, these traditions use journeying only occasionally; it is by no means a central practice."
- Roger N. Walsh, The Spirit of Shamanism (1990), p. 90

The Shaman as Psychotherapist - Healing the Body
"...It appears that shamans are able to draw on a range of psychologically skillful diagnostic and therapeutic techniques accumulated by their predecessors over centuries. Some of these techniques clearly foreshadow ones widely used today and thereby confirm the reputation of shamans as humankind's first psychotherapists."
- Roger N. Walsh, The Spirit of Shamanism

Placebo effect: "a poorly understood process in which psychological factors such as belief and expectation trigger a healing response that can be as powerful as any conventional therapy-be it drugs, surgery or psychotherapy-for a wide range of medical and psychological problems."
- Roger N. Walsh, "Initial Meditative Experiences: Part I", Journal of Transpersonal Psychology 9, 151-192 (1977)

"...Approximately one-third of people who are treated with completely inactive placebos are likely to show improvements The placebo effect has probably been a major factor in most therapies through most of human history."
"The range of ills that the placebo effect can help is awesome. Positive responses have been found with coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, cancer, arthritis, ulcers, migraine headaches, allergies, hay fever, acne, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, parkinsonism, pain, radiation sickness, and psychiatric disorders such as depression and anxiety.
"Placebo effects also play a role in many, if not all, therapeutic interactions."
- Roger N. Walsh, The Spirit of Shamanism (1990), p. 189

"If the patient really has confidence in me, then he gets cured. If he has no confidence, then that is his problem."
- Navaho medicine man quoted in D. Sandner, Navaho Symbols of Healing (1979), pp. 17-18

"Whether the shaman cures himself by helping others or first cures himself and then helps others, it may be essential that he continue shamanizing and helping 'in order to avoid a relapse."
- Roger N. Walsh, The Spirit of Shamanism (1990), p. 206

This is evident in the belief of the Chukchee.

"While the shaman is in possession of the inspiration, he must practice, and cannot hide his power. Otherwise it will manifest itself in the form of bloody sweat or in a fit of madness similar to epilepsy."
- W. Borgoras, The Chukchee (1909), p. 419

Healing the Community
"Shamanism often exists alongside and even in cooperation with the religious or healing practices of the community....Knowledge of other realms of being and consciousness and the cosmology of those regions is the basis of the shamanic perspective and power. With this knowledge, the shaman is able to serve as a bridge between the mundane and the higher and lower states. The shaman lives at the edge of reality as most people would recognize it and most commonly at the edge of society itself."
- Dean Edwards, "Shamanism-General Overview" (FAQ)

"A shaman working to cure a patient does not simply intercede with the spirits (though he may do that): he tries to rectify the disharmony that the sickness represents. He seeks to reestablish the balance not only of the sick body but also of the society to which the patient belongs - and of the cosmic order that contains it."
- David Maybury-Lewis, Millennium - Tribal Wisdom and the Mondern World, p. 187

Amongst the Eskimo, the shaman upon his "return" forces "the audience to confess their breaches of taboo. All must acknowledge their sins, a process that produces a powerful group confession and cohesion."
- Roger N. Walsh, The Spirit of Shamanism (1990), p. 146

"We know today that the medicine man derives his power from a circular feedback involving his personal myth and the hopes and expectations of those who share it with him. The ensuing 'mutual exaltation' was studied by McDougal and by Gustave LeBon many years ago. It is still regarded as one of the key factors in the psychology of masses. It has subsequently been reinterpreted in Freudian terms as the individual's willing surrender to an all-powerful father figure capable of meeting the childish dependency needs still lingering in members of the group."
- Ehrewald, The ESP Experience


Kommentarer (5)Add Comment

Skriv kommentar
mindre tekstfelt | større tekstfelt

security code
Skriv inn bokstavene ovenfor i tekstfeltet nedenfor


Kopirett © Tre Bjørner Forlag 2022. Redaktør: Ailo Gaup.

Host: Kvisvik Nettutvikling