The Shaman

Posted: September 2, 2012 by Murdock in Book Extracts

…”A shaman is someone who has been to the end; it’s someone who knows how the world really works, which means to have risen outside,above, and beyond the dimensions of ordinary space, time, and casuistry,and having seen the wiring under the board, stepped outside the confines of learned culture and learned and embedded language into the domain of what Wittgenstein called “the unspeakable” the transcendental presence of the other, which can be absanctioned, in various ways, to yield systems of knowledge which can be brought back into ordinary social space for the good of the community.So in the context of ninety percent of human culture, the shaman has been the agent of evolution, because the shaman learns the techniques to go between ordinary reality and the domain of the ideas – this higher dimensional continuum that is somehow parallel to us, available to us, and yet ordinarily occluded by cultural convention out of fear of the mystery, I believe.

And what shamans are, I believe, are people who have been able to de-condition themselves from the community’s instinctual distrust of the mystery, and to go into it: to go into this bewildering higher dimension,and gain knowledge, recover the jewel lost at the beginning of time, to save souls, cure, commune with the ancestors and so forth and so on.

Shamanism is not a religion, it’s a set of techniques, and the principal technique is the use of psychedelic plants. What psychedelics do is they dissolve boundaries, and in the presence of dissolved boundaries, one cannot continue to close one’s eyes to the ruination of the earth, the poisoning of the seas, and the consequences of two thousand years of unchallenged dominator culture based on monotheism, hatred of nature, suppression of the female, and so forth and so on. So, what shamans have to do is act as exemplars, by making this cosmic journey to the domain of the Gaian ideas, and then bringing them back in the form of art to the struggle to save the world. The planet has a kind of intelligence that can actually open a channel of communication with an individual human being. The message that nature sends is: transform your language through a synergy between electronic culture and the psychedelic imagination; a synergy between dance and idea; a synergy between understanding and intuition; and dissolve the boundaries that your culture has sanctioned between you to become part of this Gaian Supermind.”

~Terence McKenna, Re-Evolution

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