Repost: on being shamanised

on being shamanised

What is not accounted for in Freudian psychology (and Lacanian for that matter) but is recognised by such theorists as Isobel Menzies Lyth (The Dynamics of the Social) are the raging pre-Oedipal processes (primeval, but related to early childhood experience) that still affect adult society right until the end of most people’s lives. And most people do not consciously recognise this. The shaman is a kind of person who can recognise this, in a deep way — deep enough to take into consideration the nature of ethics (and the possible infringement against ethics) that these kinds of elements being allowed to rage imply. In the most direct sense, it implies that human societies are necessary irrationalist, and that identities are formed on the basis of need, rather than on the basis of ethics and morality. The “character of the father” that is established at the Oedipal stage is really nothing compared to the way that identities can be forged and determined on the basis of society’s pre-Oedipal dynamics (which run rampant and create havoc at a post-Oedipal stage). 

These rampant pre-Oedipal dynamics are no doubt the product of a society under stress. There is a FELT NEED for people to perform certain psychological roles, in such a stressed out society, including roles that are defined and demanded in terms of very primal needs — such as nurturing mother, authoritative father, and scapegoat (to name a few types. Are they archetypes? ). To have people locked into these roles means that the aggregate of social stress is depleted, as others start to take on the psychological part-functions ( becoming pre-Oedipal “part objects”) that others feel they don’t have the capacity, for whatever reason, to be able to cope with. Thus there are people whose whole life mission seems to be directed towards forcing you into one of these roles, in order to handle, for them, the processing of psychological material that they don’t feel equipped to cope with. (eg. Someone who feels that they are becoming a scapegoat might seek to create an actual, real scapegoat to handle the processing of material related to rejection and feeling like they don’t belong.) 

So it’s seems to me that these hidden pre-Oedipal dynamics, at large in adult societies, are much more powerful in terms of allocating people identities (by force of psychologically determined social pressure in the fundamental instance, and only secondarily by means of a projective identification which is at last felt and perhaps internalised by the subject who does not become aware — ie. does not become “shamanised”.). 

But this hidden means of compromising ethics by forcing people into roles that suit the psychological needs of the community is why Nietzsche warned against “herd morality.” (In my experience, the herd primarily attributes moral virtues to anyone on the basis of its psychological needs, and not in accordance with independently existing characteristics of any person.) This is why the one who DOES become shamanised (ie. who becomes very aware of how these group dynamics work, and how they compromise genuine ethics) becomes, in Nietzsche’s terms, a “hermit”.


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