My proposition is that unless we can risk departing from a narrow-minded positive view of ourselves, to wrestle with confusion and self-doubt, we are unable to grow in knowledge and power. To throw oneself fully into such a risky enterprise is what I term “intellectual shamanism”.
It’s amazing how people treat feminists and feminism as if they were “a little bit silly”. But if you treat their health problem or their lamentations about their financial status or their run-ins with certain authorities as if they were “a little bit silly”, all hell breaks loose.
…although the status of women relative to men has ramifications in all of these areas.
As well as this, individual men who adopt the posture, “I could have experienced what you did without having any reaction at all [the subtext being, "you are too sensitive"]” end up sending me the wrong message. For, when I take them at their word and treat them as if they could have handled everything I did, but without any emotional reaction, they end up being very hurt indeed.
They even act as if I’d violated their human rights.
It’s not really a competition since the game is rigged from the start. Women have to “compete” passively — that is, passive aggressively, whereas men get to compete more openly.
Since the rational dimension of the mind’s functioning enables us to grasp reality really effectively due to inappropriate moral inhibitions inculcated during childhood development, the ego destruction one experiences during shamanistic initiation implies madness. However, the madness that one undergoes as a shamanic initiate is temporary. The final outcome is that one’s grasp on the forces that produce reality is strengthened, not weakened. This is because of what is clarified in the psyche or removed from it through shamanistic experience.
Misunderstandings about shamanism often need to be dispelled, since some people may assume that shamanistic rituals involve a moral purification process or process that refines the personal character. Outcomes such as an increased awareness of the value of ethics are more than likely, although not in the way of contemporary Christian thought or New Age ideologies that emphasize the development of the individual.
A deep shamanistic experience reveals only that there are no pre-existing pathways that decide which way you should go in life. There are, however, limits . Also, the very idea that one could purify oneself morally, or of obtain anything resembling an absolute truth, is challenged by real shamanistic experience.
An additional note: shamanism deals also with memories. Any sense we might have of something unidentified, lurking in the background of the mind, needs to be attended to, for good health. We’re traditionally taught to blame ourselves for these sorts of feelings or to try to contain them using moral measures such as by attempting to cut off the body from the mind.
This would be like somebody stung by a bee assuming they must necessarily have a dodgy constitution. Distraction or self blame (otherwise known as “morality”) is not advisable : effective removal of the bee sting is.And, sometimes the “sting” that has to be removed is a moral concept, value or idea that is falsely construed in the psyche..
It’s an interesting pathological condition. To some degree, I imagine, this is the product of sexual resentment on the part of many males who are confused about their gender roles due to the fact that women are not always submissive and deferential to them. To some other extent, many people want a scapegoat to blame for harsh economic conditions. Typical patriarchal thinking is that women possess sexual magic at the core of their putatively essential natures. Thus women seem overtly powerful and overtly wealthy at a time when many men are feeling a sense of poverty.
People who are starved of affection and attention will tend to do very strange things! It’s as if they have unfulfilled business relating back to their childhood and adolescence. In actual fact, the very training and conditioning that children undergo in early life in order to make them think in terms of gender roles end up starving the whole personality.
As I’ve said before, quasi Darwinian ideologies leave the majority of men licking their wounds and wondering what is wrong with them that they cannot be like Caligula, whom they are invited to envy. “If only I was an alpha male and not a beta, my life would then be fulfilled,” they tell themselves. Articles like this one not only tap into, but activate male envy, preventing many males from understanding that one of the reasons they are so unhappy is that they are so servile to the modern day Caligulas in all sorts of respects, along with the fact that they have not engaged in any sort of examination of their banal systems of belief.
Karen Winnett: people perceive a whole lot of “:rules” all quite imaginary and arbitrary..but they live these self imposed rules believing them to be real….in some fashion.they are normally… inherited, packages cobbled together from apretnal and peer ipout,negative social encounters and school reinforcements.People draw these conclusions and then assume theya re immutable.And they make the mistake of assuming others have the same template.Its all actually quite atomized and individual..stemming for a much smaller level of cultural imprint that we really.We are not as homogeneous as we think.
Jennifer Armstrong: That is why when some initiate into shamanism “faces death”, they realise that all of these very peculiar and personal blueprints do not matter one bit. They mean nothing in the face of death, since they cannot preserve you at all. So you let go of those and your perspectives broaden.
I can see very clearly from the article below why Nietzsche saw the “will to truth”, that Hegel pursued, as nihilistic. Will to truth is the pursuit of metaphysical truth. Shamanistic knowledge (reached through facing death) is that metaphysical truth does not exist. Rather, truth exists only as created truth and does not exist apart from human creativity and will. What we take as objective truth is really just humanly created truth. Since we are products of a very long history and do not remember or have direct experience of the past, we have simply forgotten that all truths are those which we ourselves have created.
The article on Hegel shows that Hegel’s God is an empty construct as viewed in purely rational terms, but assuredly the original God that Hegel’s Geist is loosely (and abstractly) predicated on came about through men in the desert, whose minds came under tremendous pressure due to the desert heat to the extent that somehow the idea of a divine presence congealed in their minds. This they articulated through their holy texts. Another random thought: As for “intuition”, it may have nothing to do with emotion in the narrow sense. Rather, it’s a cognitive capacity relating to pattern recognition.
Hegel’s Phenomenology: The Moral Failures of Asocial Man
Author(s): Judith N. Shklar
Source: Political Theory, Vol. 1, No. 3 (Aug., 1973), pp. 259-286
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc.
For myself, I’ve studied this Nietzschean stuff for years and years, but I didn’t fully understand Nietzsche until I understood shamanism. Nietzsche is really all about the “death of God” which is actually ,in a practical and philosophical sense, the death of meaning, since without the existence of God, stable meaning itself is not assured. Bataille makes this clear when he says that the we encounter “nothing” in terms of his pursuit of “mystical experience”. What he doesn’t state so clearly is that this “nothing” is like a refreshing bath, cleansing us of the God-bothering ideology. Bataille derives many lessons from Hegel, but above all the dialectic. Bataille’s perspective is atheistic in the final analysis.
Hegel’s whole system, however, is structured around the supposition that God actually exists (not that this makes it inevitably useless — not at all!]. So, what “seems” like a bloodbench of history/raw historical process is actually given meaning in terms of Hegel’s system, since it is “objective spirit” (a certain conceptualisation of “God”) “realising” itself in human historical events. But, as Nietzsche points out, Hegel’s “God” is ultimately very abstract. Indeed, the more you move towards “God” in Hegel’s system, the more you lose touch with what is real, experiential and tangible, to the point that you let go of the substance of life itself and end up with pure abstraction. So, you can understand, on this basis, that Hegel’s system gives humans abstract meaning only at the expense of depriving them of fleshly meaning. One disregards what is most phenomenologically real in honour of some conceptualisation of progress that is fundamentally very abstract — very empty, in practical human terms.
I note that Hegel links historical progress to an unveiling of metaphysical truth, via the historical “process”. Like other, but less sophisticated Christian systems, Hegel’s philosophy offers ‘meaning’, but ultimately (it would seem) in a way that effectively defers meaning, for the true meaning of history is in the hands of a God who does not reveal his direct meaning or purpose to those who participate in history in the present .
The tendency to accept this “deferral of meaning”, whilst leaving the outcome in the hands of a god is actually considered by Nietzsche to be an existential cop-out and thus “nihilism”. It is incumbent upon us to accept “God is dead”, so that we make and come to terms with our own meanings*, rather than relying on a metaphysical system to assure us of meanings.
* i.e. develop, self consciously, human created meanings, in an awareness of an absence of God
meant that I was now
One doesn’t become evil by any action of one’s own;
but by being
whilst others are being brought up.
If I cross out my evil
with so many crosses –
Would that help?
Many males hold that certain men are “Alpha” and that others are “Beta”. This might be the most psychologically damaging notion prevalent to our time. Some males suddenly fear that they may be perceived as “Beta”, whereupon the self destruct. Attacking women betrays an inner sense of insecurity that is akin to self-destruction. This is a problem relating to the fact that masculinity is experienced mainly as a cultural identity, rather than relating to a deeper level of subjectivity than that which is merely cultural.