projected evil and shamanism

I certainly think a shamanic type is one who has absorbed a great deal of society’s evil — which is to say its negativity and projections.  We can see this pattern in Marechera, who was born into what became a very large family in dire poverty.  His mother went mad and saw a witchdoctor who said that she could lose her madness if she chose one of her children to send her demon into.  Psychologically, this is known as projection or projective identification (if the child takes on that role bestowed by the family and does indeed become mad).  Then the shaman initiate has to deal with this demon, or with many societal demons, who are tearing him or her apart.  That’s the test.  And if you can cope with that, you become initiated.

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