I now conclude that the “epistemophilic” instinct, spoken of by Meltzer, is something very different from shamanic knowledge, at least as I have studied it in Marechera. The epistemophilic instinct leads to the generation of an ideological framework. You look at the world in terms of ideology — but an ideological framework is really only a framework for an abortive/masturbatory epistemology. Ideology is a claim to knowing that doesn’t come in touch with the real world. It believes it does — and yet it doesn’t.
Shamanistic knowing may encounter the seduction of essentialism (like the epistemophilic instinct encounters in order to produce its ideological outcome — which is overgeneralising about ideologically pre-formulated ‘natures’.)
Tellingly, the perspective of the shaman who RETURNS from natal or early post-natal experience is defined by a capacity for detachment from objects, rather than a state of immersion in them as the object relations school would have it . Thus, shamanistic experience produces a state akin to Buddhistic transcendence of the subjective social relations (i.e. it ultimately transcends the early infant’s consciousness that psychoanalysis describes as “object relations”).