The shamanic wound

The meaning of the shamanic wound — or what Bataille terms “impalement” — is that it forces a break with the biological as the principle of structuring reality.  Shamans don’t care for progeneration, as a rule.

But looked at from the other direction, allowing one’s life to be driven by organic, biological principles feeds into a determinism not unlike that which afflicts dead matter.  After all, the human life cycle is predictable and, in a deadening and deadly sense, rather normative.

To break with the structure of biological determinism releases energy.  The deterministic flow of life may stop but the individual him- or herself becomes vitalized.

That is why I think the current trend toward biologism (seeing everything in the light of the inevitability of progeneration) is negative.  So long as one’s energies are travelling along these normative, predetermined pathways, one cannot even understand the meanings that shamanic types are trying to impart.


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