Intellectual shamanism becomes the means by which those imbued with an extreme sense of anti-nature approach the sublime. I don’t know if I will ever have a better description of it than this. You can’t be an intellectual shaman unless you are deeply and powerfully contained by an anti-natural view of the world. And that’s ok. Because those who are in nature, you know, they go along and they reproduce and they enjoy being part of nature, if they like, or drawing others in and making them participate in natural festivals. The diametric opposite to intellectual shamanism would be naturalistic religions, for example Wicca. You can’t be a pagan and be an intellectual shaman and you can’t be a narrow moralist who tries to organise the principles of life to make things easier in life. You can’t be an American feminist and whatnot. You can’t worship the sublime if you’re immersed in it, is what I’m saying. Coz if it’s you and you are worshiping it, you are just bestowing worship on yourself. And nobody wants that, which means me.
You can’t worship your childhood if you’re still a child and you can’t worship your nature if you are nature. You are supposed to feel alarmed by it and terrified. And then it gradually lets you approach. But you can’t do it that way, not the way you’re doing it. If you know all things too much already, then that’s it for you. You’re just going to get your way. Like a child. I can’t help you there. Sorry. You’re going to get your way like a child and nothing’s going to ever stop you. But an intellectual shaman has to be in terror and in awe. Without that anguish there’s no intellectual shamanism.
You can only approach that which terrifies you almost out of your wits, is the first principle of intellectual shamanism. You must approach the terrible thing as “other” and make acquaintance with it. But it’s never going to be your friend, more like a poisonous snake or a dragon or your worst nightmare about to come true.
And if the frightening thing gets old, your time with intellectual shamanism is done. You must hang up your hat, undo you buckles and get old. I don’t mean to say this in a bad way. You are done. You have completed your dash. It’s all over for you. And whatnot.
So the intellectual shaman approaches nature with respect and that is all there is to say about it. It’s never going to be a part of you unless you’re finished. Everything attempted must be done with the utmost anguish and the deepest, most profound respect.
That’s what intellectual shamanism is.
I kid you not.