I think it ought to be clear that I am not inclined, now more than ever, to be a philosophical activist.
Preaching to people about wholeness seems absurd when there are whole societies or even continents where people grow up naturally whole.
I have mentioned the Japanese as one example, but much of Africa also seems to embrace the continuity between the sensual self and the higher aspects of the self (which is all that wholeness means).
Therefore wholeness is not as rare as I had once suspected.
To preach to those who do not have this wholeness from childhood that there is a wholeness to be had seems folly. After all, in fact, this wholeness may not be available to be had BY THEM.
I think if the early childhood roots are not allowed to grow too deep and if one has already succumbed to very harsh pruning very early on, it may be difficult to be anything other than a very pruned and not particularly sensually engaged person (I refer again here to the motif of castration, which seems to imply enforced sensual disengagement).
Like dogs may have their tails docked and ears clipped – or indeed, undergo castration – some people have had the upbringing that makes them necessarily civilized and domesticated, but unable to access any sense of the primeval.
I cannot stress enough that what we are talking about here has nothing to do with abstract formulations of strength and weakness. The primeval is not “strength”. What it is, is connectedness. One may have very strong seeming characters that are castrated and very weak seeming ones that are entirely connected to the primeval. In fact it can be a torture, in some instances, to be connected to the primeval, but not in others. To have that connection is shamanic. Not to have it is Mutilated.
Therefore there are two social and historical trends – the shamanic and the Mutilated.
One need not oppose the Mutilated trend, although one can warn against it. It will attract those who are less connected to the primeval and it will tend to subvert the shamanic development of those who need to draw strength from roots.
This much I have found to be empirically true.
I have also found it to be true that one does not serve two masters, Mutilated and Shamanic, otherwise thy path does get corrupted. The Mutilated path is via the embrace of non-wholeness. Just in the same way as having sickle cell anemia protected the black slaves from succumbing to various diseases that a normal, healthy person would have succumbed to, so being Mutilated can protect one from all sorts of emotional contaminating diseases. At the same time, it is a state of being that is already fundamentally mutilated and (to that extent) unhealthy. By contrast, the shaman type is defined fundamentally by wholeness (but not strength!). The whole human being may be sick in all sorts of ways, even often contracting various social diseases and being afflicted with contaminants of varying sorts. But despite being frail, or insane, or endangered, the shamanic type is whole.
Perhaps extreme weakness is the price that a shamanic type is prepared to pay for being whole. The Mutilated type desires not wholeness and doesn’t necessarily need it to attain his sense of self-satisfaction. But for the shamanic type, things work exactly in reverse (he may be prepared to sacrifice riches, well-being and social esteem, just to be his complete self).
And because things work in reverse for the shamanic type, one has to be quite intellectual superficial (like a postmodernist) to attempt to serve two masters.