Repost Paradox of the psyche: at sea

Paradox of the psyche: at sea:

‘via Blog this’

A shaman is one whose life has been ‘shipwrecked’.  The victim cast to sea, only to sink to the depths and find hidden treasure.  Who would believe in this treasure, or that the meaning of the shipwreck could have turned out to be something positive? It is this paradox that we are dealing with, for instance in terms of the productive power of Zimbabwean author, Dambudzo Marechera, who was a contemporary shaman, by necessity, and not by conscious choice.


There results a self that is somewhat of a tragedian, which laments the original sense of self and its feelings of security aboard a boat with definite direction and an already furnished life-purpose, but beside that self  is another “self” that has somehow triumphed, not despite of – but because of – the chaos. This is the doubling of the self that we constantly meet within Marechera’s work. The fact that the ‘tragedy’ of one’s life produced unexpected benefits is harder to speak of in direct, everyday language, since it goes against the grain of rational expectations. This knowledge pertains to the ‘shamanic” aspect of the self, which gives the subject access to a level of reality that is generally denied by those who are uncomfortable with being “wrecked” out of one’s wounds.


N.B.  Nietzsche  experienced traumatic awakenings when his father died suddenly, an event depicted by the image of the howling dog in Thus Spoke Zarathustra.  He had earlier experienced such when his first book, The Birth of Tragedy, was poorly received, and when he succumbed to extreme illness and had to quit his professorial position. All these led to a sinking more deeply into the unconscious mind and resulted in a philosophical deepening of his ideas.

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