Lord and bondsman

It is very important to try to understand his formulations mathematically, almost in the sense of mathematical sets, rather than intuitively, because if you try to the intuitive method you will allow yourself to be misled.

In any case, we have this notion of subjectivity as a condition that is made possible by being curtailed, constrained or observed by a transcendent other. In this sense we could consider the construct of “immanence” versus “transcendence”, in that those who transcend their constraints lose their sense of social and emotional and political identity. That identity only becomes possible the minute it is not infinite, since only a finite number can be known and identified. But when the actor is infinite, he may as well make no statement about its identity at all, because it could be anything, and in a sense it is also everything.

You can see then, that Hegel draws from a very general mathematical logic in order to construct his dialectics. To explain further, if one is not curtailed and constrained by any human limitation because one has defied one’s fear of death (then ultimate human limit), then one has the status of “Lord” and a relationship with infinity. One cannot be known and is unknowable. One dominates according to one’s will, but one also (perhaps unknowingly or uncaringly) sacrifices identity, when one denies a limit to one’s being. By contrast, the bondsman or slave admits a limit to his being because he fears death. Perhaps it is not so much that death itself becomes a limit, thus giving him a sense of identity in the form of a closed set, but psychologically as well, his timidity makes him submit to a master, who limits his being by curtailing and controlling his activities. As a result of this, he gains a defined – hence recognizable – identity, which we might understood as giving him “subjectivity” (i.e. he is “subject” to the master and so his range of being acquires a certain logical predictability, which in turn he learns to relate to as his real essence or incontrovertible self). The master, (who is in the masterful relation to the bondsman simply because he can defy all limits), has no socially delimited identity, and therefore no KNOWN limited emotional or behavioral range (he is not defined by the restrictions that cause others to retreat into fear and servitude). His identity therefore cannot be defined. In this sense we can say that he transcends subjectivity.



Western derangement

A major cause for my taking a shamanic perspective, which is one that regards the world as if there had been a complete social and political dissolution of any imaginable order, is that Westerners behaved toward me in the EXACT OPPOSITE TERMS to how I was.

That is to say, I had no notion or sense of any individual or collective entitlement accruing to me, but rather had the opposite sensation of having to go begging (although this was in a way my normal state, since I had been brought up with extreme Christian modesty, the likes of which is not seen at all in the modern world). And because of the media articles about Rhodesia, people treated me as if I were arrogant and entitled. No, I had only a mode of asceticism and stoicism that I could operate within.

So I ended up seeing them as deranged, infantile and insane.


I think if people’s membranes were a bit thinner – if they could feel the force of the sun and the rain through their skins – they would also be healthier. But then you see my paradigm differs very much from the psychoanalytic paradigm whereby “feeling the wilderness” automatically means you are in danger. In African terms it does not, since nature does not automatically threaten civilized thought.


Maybe there is a misunderstanding as to what the word “communal” means. You speak a common language with a lot of other people, you may enjoy common facilities like roads, rules of conduct and public toilets. What if everybody else was allowed to use these things, including language, but suddenly you, and only you, were denied them?

the middle of the middle

 I do hold that the middle class, the middle of society, the middle of the middle is not all it is cracked up to be.  It’s actually quite fetid.  And neurotic and small.  The people who can survive the middle are those who society permits to have good roots. Constant uprooting experiences (such as I have had) will make you unable to survive the middle.  But this is also a blessing in a bigger way than it is problematic.  If one is cast onto one’s own resources fully and necessarily, one can often make the best possible life for oneself.
But I should be clear.  I have no aspirations toward belongingness and none toward improving my sociability of becoming more popular.  To my mind these are American dreams, and I just don’t partake in them.
This leads to a discussion about the differences we have in aspirations and also even in terms of the fundamental structures of our beings.  There may be similarities, but also huge differences.  For instance, for the first 20 years of my life, I was cut out of appetitive being.  I lived a very abstracted existence.  This is something psychoanalysis cannot even begin to grasp.  And I think it is easy to lose sight of that, when it comes to understanding how my paradigm is really constructed, which is fundamentally top-down and not bottom-up.   If people do not keep that in mind AT ALL TIMES, they will think I am saying precisely the opposite to what I am really saying.  That’s because their own paradigm is turned in the opposite direction.

All of my language – including my reverence for the wilderness comes from the sense that it was my only friend in this extreme state of detachment that I had for the first two decades of my life. So I absolutely do not relate to the notion psychoanalysis has, that the wilderness is basically ourselves, in our raw, untamed natures. For me, the wilderness is basically what is NOT ME, but yet enables me to become whole. For psychoanalysis, the wilderness is ALREADY me, and is the obstruction to becoming social and therefore fully whole. You see how the whole thing reads back to front from the other perspective? This is really important to keep in mind – because one easily loses sight of it.

The demonic God

I’ve been thinking that post traumatic stress disorder is not what it seems. I don’t think it has ever been explained this way before, but to my mind it has to do with …well let me explain. I don’t think someone can get ptsd when they do not expect anything from anyone. Well then they get what they expect and they are not let down. But for people who have an unusual or high level of reverence for society or for its moral arm, or anything like that, trauma can arise when they are suddenly disappointed. I don’t mean a minor disappointment, but more like realising that your esteemed god was really a goat, or that what seemed good or reliable turned out to be evil. In that case, I think one suddenly develops a negative or demonic God concept, and this is what makes one feel as if one is undermined. The whole point is to get out from under the influence of this demonic God, albeit only as a concept that dominates one’s mind. If one can do that, one recovers from post traumatic stress. If one cannot do so, then one remains permanently injured — and mad, to boot.

I am your wall/you are my wall

I  really think it is important to accept (something I have always been reluctant to accept) which is that different people have different spiritual natures.
In “The Alley”, Marechera has one of the characters say, “I am your wall and you are my wall…”  (he relates this to the black and white factions of Zimbabwe at war, whom oddly enough he sees as making up a whole)
One need not be set up in contest of oppositional fighting to become a wall to another person or group of people.  But it probably helps.
In any case, what is “a wall”, but somehow (not what I thought before, which was the limits of the consciousness)…  The wall seems to me to spell the material limits set up against spiritually projecting consciousness.  It seems to me that when one reaches a limit with regard to one’s extension of one’s own spiritually directed consciousness (conscience?) into the world, one has encountered the other person – but not as “spirit” (for one would need to share their conscience in that case).  One encounters them as materially directed LIMITS.
It seems to me, for example, that there is a spiritually middle class desire not to have to experience very much, but to be on an even keel and proceed smoothly and predictably through life.  I just had an encounter like this, where someone demanded that I ought not to prefer nervosity to this calm manner suited to living in civilization rather than the wild.  But their assertion of their spirituality – which perhaps tries to help me – is a material wall to me.  It shuts off the projection of my own spirituality, which requires the means to experience life with a high degree of nervosity in order to experience it fully.
So, different people, in trying to guide each other, become the walls against the other’s progress.

Intellectual shamanism: principles

Shamanic principles


  1. The complimentary human obeys the opposite principles  to the spirit of the age.  If the age is strong, the complimentary person is weak and sensitive.  If the age is weak and lacking in will, the complimentary human must gain a surfeit of will.
  2. This is a communicative and demanding age. Loud  voices have little to say.  Intellectual shamanism embraces the principle of not communicating.  It sticks to its authenticity, by not endeavoring to say anything.  Anything it does communicate will be incidental in relation to its existence, which alone is of importance.
  3. Similarly, intellectual shamanism does not seek to render help. Its basic understanding is that most humanity cannot be assisted.  Individuals may at times develop themselves by going to their roots, but via no secret means nor methodology
  4. Intellectual shamanism embraces wildness but offers no reassurance or guidance. A beneficial outcome is unknown.
  5. Intellectual shamanism is distinctly non-empathic. It does not concern itself with a world of hurts, in a world where it is impossible to avoid the mangling of feelings.  It applies no salve.  It makes a mockery of the principles of spiritual motherhood, including the roles of nursing, teaching and the metaphysical construct of the  of Earth Mother.   Should you be broken, it will not seek to fix you.
  6. Shamanism is: what it is. People may break because of it, whereas some grow by it.  And all this time,  shamanic practitioners merely watch and observe.
  7. Shamanism does nothing and is fundamentally nothing
  8. Shamanism is non-action
  9. Shamanism neither wishes to understand something, nor does it wish to be understood
  10. Dying is being born
  11. Shamanism adds nothing to the contemporary discourse.
  12. Shamanism welcomes trolls and those who self-destruct, since there is nothing more beautiful than the spontaneous fumes of their self-destruction
  13. Shamanism denies that human progress is necessarily granted and assured

14  Shamanism resides at the nexus of destruction and the creation of the eternal fire

  1. Shamanism resolves nothing – but makes apparent what already exists
  2. Shamanism is the enemy of the socially obvious, the pat idea and the already resolved notions about life
  3. Shamanism is neither intrinsically hostile and nor is it free of hostility
  4. Shamanism is politically homeless
  5. Shamanism is intellectually homeless
  6. Shamanism is socially homeless
  7. Shamanism is neither Western nor Eastern but is everything
  8. Shamanism does not ameliorate anything, but it clarifies everything.
  9. Shamanism accepts no difference between right wing populism and left wing populism, but pronounces them one and the same.
  10. Shamanism withholds acknowledgement of chronological time, but only at times

25  The principle is “inside-out is outside-in”

  1. Strong roots lead into the primeval
  2. Transgression and/or regression are not as dangerous, as dangerous as they sound.
  3. Cultural attributes are surface reflections of reality
  4. A dog howls
  5. Someone says it: “Nothing!”
  6. A door swings open and is closed
  7. A man walks in and one can discuss this or not

33  The writing appears and it is on the wall

  1. Never mind, a doctor beckons
  2. Reality is denied
  3. Above all, then, nothing is noticed
  4. Learning to read and write again when it is has already come time to die
  5. The mind lurches forth
  6. A cannon misfires















altered technology

Of course it is very dangerous to access the primeval forces.  It’s not to say that private primeval forces are the same a group forces akin to Jung’s collective unconscious.  Of course there is the solitary activity of the solitary shaman, and in that case he or she is only tampering with their own DNA (and this might be quite literal actually, because we now have some idea that there is an adaptive mechanism in DNA – i.e. softwiring (“junk” dna) as well as the hardwired biological material.  So one may be tampering with the soft wired dna.  I’m almost sure we are doing so.


And of course it is very dangerous not just to allow things to proceed as they are, on the surface of being, as has been guided by tradition and historical precedent and perhaps one or two wise males. 


But in the end, historical crisis also forces us into relationship with this taboo level of existence.  We may face the roots of our dna with terror and abundant fear at the knowledge that we are transgressing against historical precedents (which so far have kept us relatively) safe and against tradition, but we have to do it anyway, as not to make this move means that we will almost certainly be destroyed.


I am sure that was the situation with Marechera, it was my situation, and so on.  Historical shifts mean we can’t operate with the same dna anymore.


And let us bear in mind, too, that it is one thing to caution wisely against impetuous delving into the DNA, and it is another thing to act as if one cannot even understand what someone is talking about when they explain their necessities.    There is such a thing as being too pure – too much of a wise monkey.  And such people are so obstructive, in fact, that I fear they put themselves in harm’s way.

2 ideas

2 ideas.
1.  The sense of the sacred can sometimes be better maintained by withholding one’s involvement.  My dream suggested the compulsion to go along with an agenda that was wrong for me, just because I didn’t feel normal standing in the hallway.  But perhaps no solution would have been normal.  Looked at in terms of my chronology, I ought never to have externally emulated the sense of participation when I did not feel that way. It led to my being fundamentally misunderstood over and over, in terms of Western categories of identity, as well as the Western compulsion to engage as a means to try to belong to something.   I never had that in me, and I should have recognized that as such.  (Once again, this comes down to the fact that I am simply not Western.)
2.  False epistemology.  To my mind, because I was not brought up with Western notions about categories of identity (once again referring to the contents of my dream), Western perspectives entail a dream state that is essentially alien – and being alien, it is alienating.  I don’t dream in the Western dream style – for instance, I don’t want to “act” or to belong.  So to break down the Western dream style and to start again seems to me Paradise.  Therefore I charge THEM with having a false epistemology, just as they would charge me with the same (from the perspective of their own dream states).  And I keep insisting we should start again from scratch – because THAT to me is Paradise – not having to deal with the false constructs of the false dream states.
3.  Shamanism (a third idea?) is, as Bataille rightly points out, a return to the wilderness (not his words) but a return to a state of bewilderment, or as he DOES ACTUALLY SAY, “signal dissolution”:
Let no one doubt for an instant! One has truly not heard a single word of Nietzsche’s unless one has lived this signal dissolution in totality; without it, this philosophy is a mere labyrinth of contradictions, and worse; the pretext for lying by omission (if, like the fascists, one isolates passages for purposes which negate the rest of the work).

Shamanic modes

Also to clarify something, there are two levels of violence.  One is the shamanic process itself and the other is the fact of how my identity was malformed by trying too hard to be good and perfect.  Always, there has been an attitude that I am someone on trial who can only be accepted conditionally, but needs to be constantly policed by others acting as moralists.  And also the same moralist in my head, but even more extremely so.  So to encounter in myself all the things that others fear and to make peace with them – and I do mean specifically my white, African identity – is to encounter myself in my most creative mode.  

Visceral antagonisms

You have to bear in mind that what I come from is a highly authoritarian and Christian culture.  Because of the damage that this culture did to my ability to connect to the sensual aspects of myself WITHIN A SOCIAL CONTEXT, I developed a very high level of sensitivity to anything in the environment that would inhibit or deny my ability to make that necessary sensual connection within a social context.  That is how I came up with the discoveries I did.  Had I not been afflicted with the disease of a Rhodesian right wing character structure, I would not have been able to use myself as a sensitive measuring instrument to come up with the realizations I did.
But, having done so, I do know, without a doubt that Judeo-Christian culture is my visceral enemy.  I don’t mean I have to fight it.  I have learned to ignore it. 
But there is no point doubting what I know, which was that I had to rebuild my root system because of it, and then rebuild it after every attack.
Has this made me stronger?  Yes – in many instances.  For instance, if I still was imbued with a right wing culture, I would not have met the compatible personality I have found in Mike.  And there are all sorts of other benefits too.  But that was because I was forced to focus on my ROOT SYSTEM and develop and strengthen my connection to the sensual aspects of my being.  The attacks only made me aware of this need.  That is all.  They served no further purpose apart from that.
And of course the attacks will be continuous because I am thought to be from a criminal culture, so the moralists (Judeo-Christian types) will forever be down on my case for not being one of them.  And if I were to try to accommodate their demands, I could never satisfy those, because their demands are simply that I cease to exist.

Shamanic of mutilated

I think it ought to be clear that I am not inclined, now more than ever, to be a philosophical activist.


Preaching to people about wholeness seems absurd when there are whole societies or even continents where people grow up naturally whole.


I have mentioned the Japanese as one example, but much of Africa also seems to embrace the continuity between the sensual self and the higher aspects of the self (which is all that wholeness means).


Therefore wholeness is not as rare as I had once suspected.


To preach to those who do not have this wholeness from childhood that there is a wholeness to be had seems folly.  After all, in fact, this wholeness may not be available to be had  BY THEM.


I think if the early childhood roots are not allowed to grow too deep and if one has already succumbed to very harsh pruning very early on, it may be difficult to be anything other than a very pruned and not particularly sensually engaged person (I refer again here to the motif of castration, which seems to imply enforced sensual disengagement).


Like dogs may have their tails docked and ears clipped – or indeed, undergo castration – some people have had the upbringing that makes them necessarily civilized and domesticated, but unable to access any sense of the primeval. 


I cannot stress enough that what we are talking about here has nothing to do with abstract formulations of strength and weakness.  The primeval is not “strength”.  What it is, is connectedness.  One may have very strong seeming characters that are castrated and very weak seeming ones that are entirely connected to the primeval.  In fact it can be a torture, in some instances, to be connected to the primeval, but not in others.  To have that connection is shamanic.  Not to have it is Mutilated.


Therefore there are two social and historical trends – the shamanic and the Mutilated.


One need not oppose the Mutilated trend, although one can warn against it.  It will attract those who are less connected to the primeval and it will tend to subvert the shamanic development of those who need to draw strength from roots.


This much I have found to be empirically true.


I have also found it to be true that one does not serve two masters, Mutilated and Shamanic, otherwise thy path does get corrupted.  The Mutilated path is via the embrace of non-wholeness.  Just in the same way as having sickle cell anemia protected the black slaves from succumbing to various diseases that a normal, healthy person would have succumbed to, so being Mutilated can protect one from all sorts of emotional contaminating diseases.    At the same time, it is a state of being that is already fundamentally mutilated and (to that extent) unhealthy.  By contrast, the shaman type is defined fundamentally by wholeness (but not strength!).  The whole human being may be sick in all sorts of ways, even often contracting various social diseases and being afflicted with contaminants of varying sorts.  But despite being frail, or insane, or endangered, the shamanic type is whole.


Perhaps extreme weakness is the price that a shamanic type is prepared to pay for being whole.  The Mutilated type desires not wholeness and doesn’t necessarily need it to attain his sense of self-satisfaction.  But for the shamanic type, things work exactly in reverse (he may be prepared to sacrifice riches, well-being and social esteem, just to be his complete self).


And because things work in reverse for the shamanic type, one has to be quite intellectual superficial (like a postmodernist) to attempt to serve two masters.


on judging as revealing

Even my memoir – or should I say ESPECIALLY it – has helped me to gain a much deeper appreciation for where the ideological and anti-shamanic battle lines really are.  How people react to it is really telling – at least to me, regarding their shamanic maturity, or even their animosities to things.
People reveal themselves through their reactions – which is a good thing, because when the battle lines become clear, one realizes that there is no point trying to convince certain people of things, or even to convince oneself, for instance, that there is more to understand about critical theory or that one can turn oneself into a success through understanding it.  The lessons taken enable one not to waste time. 
And energy and time are very, very important features from the shamanic perspective, as what is life anyway, but one’s energy and one’s time?
Perhaps this is why certain hostile ideologues like to tie you up in confusing knots, just to waste your energy and time.

The wrong message

What is taken from Bataille is a distortion that does not recognise what Bataille was – which was a delver into the primeval.
You have already seen one article which I downloaded and shared with you, wherein Bataille’s philosophy is used narrowly to advocate demasculinising and masochism in service of a political goal.
But this is so far from what it is – as I am sure I have indicated and perhaps you can now start to see.
I think the one thing Bataille was concerned with was ontological wholeness – the wholeness of the human being; and the means to recover it.
But you have to be already very spiritually wealthy to take in some of his recommendations.  You need to be able to draw from the resources of your own energy and spirit, because he advocates a violent breaking from social norms, by means of wallowing in what social normality takes to be abject.
But let us be very clear.  The purpose of this is not so that you can diminish yourself and make yourself weak so that you become a true leftist who is taking the side of weakness.  No.  the point is that by exposing yourself to a horrible initiation, you learn not to care so much about what others think about you.  You have already faced the worst horrors of your imagination and your worst fears – so what can others do to you now?
Therefore, Bataille is advocating a break from mediocrity and a means to individual freedom or “sovereignty” as he called it.  But the idiots keep wanting to turn his stuff into some gesture of social masochism.
People actually read his writing and take from it the opposite message.

Postmodernism AATS

It seems highly probable that both Bataille and postmodernism assume certain postures on the basis of what they take to be the advantages bestowed on them through the developments taking place in history.
In the case of Bataille, one might well question one of the assumption relating to his trope of the “inverted Icarus”  As we have discussed, and in terms of what I see as true, Nietzsche made one of his essential motifs “masculinity” because he was on a phallic ascendency journey to the sky.  If one sees this not so much in terms of an innate masculine impetus, but rather in terms of a need to DEVELOP a masculine familiarity, and condition oneself to a masculine modality of transcendence — well, perhaps Bataille realized that the historical work had been done.  In other words, so far as HE was concerned (half a century later), his masculinity was already clearly apparent and attained.  What was necessary NOW was to take the movement in the opposite direction (not to lose masculinity, but to capture wholeness).  This might be why Bataille came up with his notion of the inverted Icarus, who doesn’t ascend to the sun, but rather falls into it.  (And I am not sure, but perhaps this is also a falling to Earth, except that Earth is less an emblem of enlightenment than the Sun).
But Nietzsche did say, in ZARATHUSTRA, that one should return one’s spiritual harvest to the Earth, rather than send it skyward.
Postmodernism, however, has this simplistic formulation that we can dispense with being concerned with BEING and just work on theory, which does the job of labeling and hypnotizing and therefore indirectly controlling being.
This is also an assumption about history – that we are beyond rough handling and PHYSICALLY controlling and labeling people.  We can retract and be concerned only with theoretical labels and conceptual constructs, designed to move history (by engaging actively and politically).
But once again what obstructs is that this idea does not at all model the human psyche, which is more of a tree with three levels (roots, stem and branches) rather than just historical end points of stem and branches.  Actually the conceit and naivety of Western postmodernists and others similar to them in general is to imagine that history has bestowed on them the capacity to ONLY be stem and branches – whilst they continue to act as root systems as well!


Fundamentally, Icarus – as it seems to me, is a phallic or masculine style of thinking.  Icarus seeks enlightenment by transcending the Earth – which he takes as “feminine”.  But this is all too impetuous (although nonetheless very natural, and indeed very necessary).  Actually one has to shoot as high as possible – and definitely for enlightenment (whether one is male or female), but the shaman (i.e. Bataille) as post-metaphysician already knows that this is going to fail.  However, the failure is not in the way that the linear mind would understand failure.  When Icarus falls to Earth, his linear mind considers his an effort that led to failure, but in fact that is wrong – or only half of the picture.
In fact, Icarus has reached the limits of his being (which is commendable), but he was only ever in one channel, operating in ONE mode, which is that of linear thought.  His crash is not a disaster (entirely) because it returns him to the other level of thought, which unites him with the duality of existence.  Thus he is reunited with circular (perhaps) or “feminine” thought (diffused thought).  
But the shaman (perhaps even the potential shaman in Icarus) knew that this was always bound to happen.  It is in the natural order of things that one gets beyond the monistic thought IF one pushes far enough and with enough resolution – one reaches the limits of one’s being.  After that, one must reunite with the other elements of through that one had left behind.
The paradox of shamanic initiation – only after one has crashed and burnt can one be whole.
But this is not as pretty as it sounds, and takes a lot to pick up the pieces.


When we consider our life in linear, chronological terms, going away from the core self and as it were “into the world” is considered to be the mark of maturity.  But this conception of things is hindered by linear reasoning.  In fact, moving “up” – away from infancy – is only one possible direction one may move in, in order to move to the “outer” part of the circle.  If the inner part of the circle is defined by herd conventions and herd laws and gate keeping, then of course moving “down” in relation to these — that is, down into the core self, is also moving to the outer reaches of herd conventions, where conventional Christian ideology explicitly forbids us to go. 
I think most of the time we are a little bit bewitched by our metaphors so that we think the only way that is is reasonable to progress is always “up” (hypnotized by  the linear metaphor of growing UP from childhood).  Of course the linear metaphor IS in fact the HERD METAPHOR, which keeps us all in place, operating according to herd norms and conventions.  We can allow ourselves to become bewitched by it, to the point that we do not also see that what the herd explicitly prohibits is going “DOWN”.  But going down into the core self can also be extremely productive.  And going downward in this sense is dangerous.  It is not going TOWARD THE INSIDE, where everything is guaranteed to be regulated, orderly and safe.  (What is on the inside, aligned with the herd. is meant to be safe, but what is on the outside is rarely very safe, which is what separates these two IN THE SHAMANIC SENSE.)
Bataille’s insight was that is was possible to go to the outside by going DOWNWARD, whereas Nietzsche had only seen one possibility, which was going UP.
In an case, it is very important to separate herd metaphors (which inscribe their fear about encountering danger, and use linear metaphors) from those metaphors created from a shamanic perspective.  Psychoanalysis employs herd metaphors, which come in with inbuilt herd warnings.  Our metaphors cannot be so readily understood by those who think in terms or linear consciousness.
Perhaps the point is not to go through the barrier of the id, so much.  I see what you are saying, but for some reason the id seems the most mystical and magical part of me.  Also if you go through the barrier, you may lose oxygen, nutrients and other supplies. 
I think the point is rather to become so rich in one’s sense of reality that one no longer relies on external forms of knowledge.  That is the real barrier in fact.  Because there is a world of difference between the people in the world who need to be taught what is what and how to live their lives (the majority) and those who have become rich enough to draw from their own rescources.

Energy and matter

1.  The old dualism of materialism versus idealism is (has already been) undermined considerably by advances in biology, physics and possibly even philosophy.  So now we are learning that what seems to be material is actually composed of energy, and what seems to be mental is actually, well, not so much so.  To give you an idea, which relates to recent advances in medical science, it is now becoming apparent that certain mental disorders, like autism, may have their origins in the bacteria (or lack thereof) in the gut.  So we cannot avidly assert that someone lacks mental strength or (perhaps even) ability because they are not of good moral fiber, but rather their gut fiber might not be so good (much more literally).
2.  Even back in the forties or fifties (I’m not sure when) Bataille proposed “base materalism” as a mystical formula relating to matter.  I think he specifically remarked on its indeterminacy.  So matter and mysticism can be quite compatible on an abstract level, even if that is not how most people understand it.
3.  So, I would move away from positing that there are two basic levels of existence, or two basic levels of understanding.  It might be better to see energy moving into matter and matter moving into energy.  (I have actually thought this way myself – that those whose energies have been captured, by larger and perhaps hostile forces, are forced to remain as matter, losing their capacity to self-transform and adjust at will to difficult or different situations.
Hostile forces always try to pin us down, to make our energy visible (materially), so that it can be used and drained off for other purposes.  That is why it is imperative for a shaman to remain invisible and to keep engaging in training that will allow him or her to shapeshift.

Anti-colonial knee jerks

I was one who was born in Rhodesia, and was forced to emigrate whilst still a child (as this was my parents’ decision, not mine). Regrettably, I found my ‘welcome’ into the First World to be anything but. To this day, I keep up that the general level of moral reflection and self-discipline among much of the populace in my current milieu are frighteningly low. I wonder if it could cross the minds of some of the moral ideologues on the evils of colonialism that acting upon their unchecked assumptions about colonial whites could give the colonial white immigrants, to whom some denizens of the western left are pleased to give short thrift, imputing to them collective guilt. This only leads to the blindsided newcomer learning complete contempt for those who wish to punish us for nothing we had done wrong. To act to punish without even the preliminaries of an introduction to the person whom you are punishing is quite without morality or decency, in my view.

Ashis Nandy, the Indian post-colonial theorist and intellectual cautions us against making monsters out of the ex-colonials. To do so, he says, is to reinforce colonialism as a psychologically potent force. These disempowered colonials as victims of Modernity, dwarfed in relation to the gigantic mechanisms and devices of modern warfare.

Nandy’s position on colonialism lends itself to a psychological appraisal of the colonials, who and what they were, and how they are really in relation to contemporary manifestations of power. The children of the white colonials are particularly vulnerable, even compared to their uprooted parents. My generation is also the victim of colonial secrecy about what went on, and religious shame, which prevents free communication, and makes us victim to both right-wing and left-wing propaganda.

A simple-minded anti-colonialist position, by contrast to Nandy’s more enlightened perspective, only contributes to a highly unethical and destructive blaming of the generation of the white colonial’s children, who did not play any part in the politics of the era.  Identity politics theorists who have a reflexive need to condemn the colonialism of the past, whilst not looking at the issues of the present, are reinforcing the violent psychological legacy of the colonial era, and is creating more of the anguish which the astute Zimbabwean writer, Dambudzo Marechera, railed against:

“We are refugees fleeing from the excesses of our parents,” he said.

Marechera, hardly a partisan for the order that preceded colonialism, went on to say, “Tradition, on closer examination, always reveals secrets we prefer to flush down the toilet.”

My memoir and the theory behind it

An interview with Allan Shore


His training as a psychoanalyst was critical in highlighting the importance of the relationship between the mother and the infant. But there was a struggle within psychoanalysis – in particular between Anna Freud and Melanie Klein – about how much was really a creation of the infants mind., a phantasy. Bowlby began to fervently argue and bring in data from other disciplines to show that the real relationship, that the real events, not only were there but they were indelibly and permanently shaped there in a way that would affect the way that the personality would develop over the lifespan.  [EMPHASIS MINE]

This is precisely what I was interested in studying when I wrote my memoir!


Primary process thinking and relating

Primary process thinking is the form of adaptive thinking we are all born with. It at the foundation level of human nature. Just as a tadpole turns into a frog, or a worm into a moth, we all engaged in primary processes in our chrysalis stage.

It’s related to an original state in the womb (and later in early childhood), where subject and object are one. The child and the mother are one bio-system, rather than being individualized and separate. Rationality has not started to develop. Nor has the awareness that one is separate from others. This way of thinking lends itself to the feeling that anything could happen. The imagination, and not logic, tends to predominate.

Primary process thinking also has an instrumental role when people have to adjust to larger systems, under strain. Humans are equipped to become one with an organisation, by projecting and distributing various facets of their personalities and needs into other members of the institution. Thus the institution functions as a whole organism, or one mind, rather than as separate people going their own way. This is very adaptive, but at the cost of rationality and individuality.

Humans are extremely adaptive in a positive way too.  We use primary process thinking all the time.  For instance, primary processes are the basis for empathy — the capacity to think oneself into the other’s skin in relation to basic human needs and desires (The lowest rungs of Maslow’s pyramid of needs).  In all, it’s what lies behind our ability to relate most directly with others.

Accepting you have become corrupted and recovery

Let’s Spread the Word: Wetiko | Reality Sandwich:

‘via Blog this’

An article, linked to above, worth reading.  It may come across as New Age, but I also arrived at the same conclusions through my careful, far more academic study and observation.

I also concluded that the patriarchal religions perpetuate this deformed state of consciousness, by encouraging men to project their darkness onto women.

Intellectual shamanism reverses this process by insisting that one develop a relationship with oneself.  As the article says:

[The pathological person’s] will becomes dedicated to hiding from the truth of what they are doing, a truth which endlessly pursues them, as they continually avoid relationship with themselves.  [Emphasis mine].

My intellectual shamanism is concerned with the structuring of the human psyche and with remedies through restructuring and forming a relationship with other parts of yourself, that may have become alienated from the whole.  Accepting one’s dissociated and split state, one goes looking for them.  This does not involve blind searching, but active and reasoned looking.

The moralistic tone of the article, especially where it suggests that “excess” or boundary-crossing are always “evil” reveals much of the limitations of New Age psychology.  Whether these are “evil”, or corrective of pathology depends on how you use them.  Otherwise, it’s like saying that dynamite is bad under all circumstances — because it causes destruction. Few things are intrinsically bad in and of themselves — and sometimes a degree of destruction is necessary, in order to recover full health.