Why is there such a renewed interest in Shamanism? Current mythologies are losing their numinosity. They no longer serves as a guiding vision of life on Earth. Jungian analyst, Thomas Singer’s ask the question “What myth now?” (1). He writes that, at critical junctures in human history, competing mythologies would tear at the fabric of our existence until a new dominant myth emerges. The Andean Shamans, known as the Laika, believe we are living in the time of “The Great Upheaval”.
Perhaps it is time to search for deeper answers rather than “being told” what the ‘truth’ is. For centuries, the great patriarchal religions believed they held the answers and tried to quash indigenous beliefs systems through a colonization of the minds of people.
Jerome Bernstein (2) describe the emerging paradigm of reciprocity which is in actual fact an ancient view and a basic tenet of all forms of Shamanism. He describes reciprocity as a psychic force which “is a deep spiritual knowing that all life is sacred and, given that tenet, that a healthy life force requires respect for all species and living in balance with all its forms.” He is not referring to an external belief, but a deep “knowing from within the self and between humans and non-human life forms.” This is what Thich Nhat Hanh calls “Interbeing” (3) and the polar opposite of what Charles Eisenstein (4) dubbed as the myth of separation causing havoc in our world.
An underlying belief in all Shamanic approaches is that we are “Dreaming” our collective reality into being and that our perceptions of reality are a mirror of unconscious programs and beliefs. The Shaman believes that illness or adversity is a potential initiation into our deepest being and true healing is the awakening to a vision of our true spiritual nature beyond our programming.
The word “shaman” comes from the Evenki, a Siberian people.
In Russia, the Evenks are recognised as one of the indigenous peoples of the Russian North.
A post I wrote for @jungsouthernafrica
Image credit: Artist: ‘Shaman’ - Kolesnikov Sergey (2017)
2) Jerome Bernstein. (2020). The Cultural Complex and Addiction to Dominion -
Psychic Evolution Cannot Be Thwarted in Cultural Complexes and the Soul of America - Myth, Psyche, and Politics (Edited Thomas Singer). London: Routledge
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