Shamanism, ‘Otherness’ & Phenomena

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    • #8032
      LionLadyLionLady
      Participant

      1. Bushmans Kloof Petroglyphs 3
      CAPTION: San/KhoiKhoi Petroglyphs in the Cederberg Mountains of South Africa, near Namibia – my photo.

      If you’re seeking to discuss the serious sides of the shamanic journey – or any of the intriguing stuff that came up in our original thread here (Shamanism and Related Explorations), here’s where that kind of exchange continues to live and breathe.

      The path of shaman takes many forms in many cultures, so there is a vast potential for meaty discussions within, as well as space for any sharing or questions about ‘the weird stuff’ that happens around shamans – and, often, around ‘just folks’ who, on occasion, accidentally trip off ‘the light fantastic’.

      If it’s weird and it’s happened to YOU, feel free to share about it – or to ask questions about same. We’re all fellow travelers here, and the Lion is up and ready for all kinds of cosmic strangenesses that you might want to slide onto the table for examination and discussion.

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    • #8126
      ZenscreamerZenscreamer
      Participant

      Hey there LL! Just a little note to say I noticed this thread :-) I have to say that talking about weird experiences can be very difficult, even for someone as forthright and direct as myself, if only for the fact that somehow the description itself does not convey the strange quality; the strangeness is an emergent phenomenon that transcends the mere recitation of circumstances.

      For example, I have had experiences where when I was have a face-to-face conversation with a single other person, and part of what I heard them say (a few words for example) was suddenly indistinct, like a badly tuned radio. Just part of as single sentence. The weird part was when I asked them to repeat it, the SAME THING HAPPENED. It didn’t matter how many times it was repeated, I couldn’t hear what was being said. It is not a coincidence that I deduced later that what I failed to hear was something I absolutely didn’t want to know in the first place.

      I once got hysterical blindness while attempting to look at my own blood under a microscope (the don’t put kids through that torture anymore thank goodness). I succeeded in the finger poke, and getting the droplet on the slide, and the cover slip on even though my finger was throbbing, and I got the slide under the microscope, but I distinctly remember looking at my bloody fingerprint on the slide as I was putting it in place, and then…. my vision faded to black, while I was just sitting there calmly on the stool. I had felt faint before, so I expected it to pass, and when it didn’t I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t get my eyesight back for more than half an hour; I also never had to complete the assignment.

      Now I realize, those stories aren’t “strange” in the greater sense you mean for this thread, but in both cases the experiences themselves were very subjectively strange, and yet I very much doubt the that a listener can grasp how strange the are when experienced. Certainly of the reality of these experiences helps me realize the degree to which I choose what I do and do not want to perceive, and how some of that “choosing” is outside of willful control. This may not be true of everyone, but it certainly has been for me.

      • #8129
        LionLadyLionLady
        Participant

        Hi, ZenS:

        Excellent! Another great goodie from you that simply begs for response. How lucky am I??? :)

        Now – regarding self-created ‘strangeness’: I, too, have done things to myself that defy belief – and yet they happened. I think that this is a lovely, if disconcerting, glimmer of what we humans really can do, creative power-wise, if we set our minds to it.

        You created both deafness and blindness. Wow. Huge ways to avoid encounters with potentially life-changing experiences you weren’t ready for! Note: I personally would consider your experiences as being outside of ‘conscious’ control, rather than outside of ‘willful’ control, though. Just my intuition at work here, as somewhere behind the curtain while these events were going on, your will was operating on full throttle, even if you were unable to be ‘aware’ of it as such. We’re the ones doing the driving, even if we don’ wanna see/hear/feel/etc. the experience. There’s really no one else at the wheel.

        Mine were a little different, but still absolutely created by me, ‘to order’.

        The first was a decision I made at 12 years of age, to neverevereverEVER have another decayed tooth in my head. This intention was made following a marathon of cavity-drilling that left me with a mouth full of silver(mercury-laden, I’m sure) all in one go. A truly miserable experience, one that I vowed with gritted teeth and an almost-palpable emotional charge, NEVER to experience again. And . . . I didn’t. I’m 67, have had the silver removed/replaced with porcelain caps and my teeth, un-fluffed since before Africa, are completely healthy and in stellar shape.

        My next successful strangeness a year later, was a bit more dramatic – and created no end of blow-back: I talked myself into an attack of acute appendicitis (tenderness, extreme pain, etc.), underwent emergency surgery, and spent a week in hospital recovering from it, only to be told a week later by my parents and my surgeon, who was furious with me, that the only reason he had operated was that my white blood cell count was off the charts so he went in . . . only to find a perfectly pink and happy appendix. He took it out anyway, stitched me up and then, a week later, I was in tremendously hot water with both my parents and the surgeon for a needless surgery and its expense. You see, they decided I was faking it to get attention. No – I believed that this was happening so much that I caused it to happen.

        The mind is an amazing thing and can work both wonders and horrors on us if we understand what it can do when directed by our conscious, focused energetic intention. These days, I am extremely careful about what I intend, because it usually then happens. My initiation helped me no end to get a handle on using this ability responsibly – unlike my childhood dramas, which were fueled by much less noble wants and needs. This is powerful stuff and I believe in it implicitly as I’ve seen what it can do, in person.

        My purpose here isn’t to give readers a direct experience of my ‘adventures’ in the Zone, but rather to let them know that this IS real, it DOES happen, and that humans have abilities far beyond what they think they have. This means that anything strange that may have happened in their life now becomes just a bit more interesting and possible to accept as having really happened – not just their imaginations at work. And, it means that when someone else says such things, they are much less likely to dismiss both the person and the experience as ‘not true’. I am seeking greater understanding on the part of humans around the odd, the strange, and the unexplainable – because, as On the Beach says, it isn’t about ‘metaphysics’ – it’s about physics that we don’t yet understand.

        There’s a fabulous book by F. David Peet called ‘Blackfoot Physics‘ that puts this kind of thing into wonderful perspective. I know I’ve mentioned his work somewhere before on TIF, but I’ll do it again here since what he’s twigged to regarding the holographic nature of the Native American cosmological vision of ‘what IS’, is so brilliantly mind-blowing and ‘Ah-Ha!’-making. It reveals the possible ‘WHY’ of how the indigenous relationship with life has been so much more ‘in flow’ with the greater, more profound universal ‘laws’, the ones that we westerners are only now beginning to be aware of. Great reading, and most thought-provoking stuff.

        What you’ve shared fits right in here, and is a wonderful way to kick off the discussion on this thread. Deepest thanks for yet again, casting pearls before Lions. LOL!

        :) L/L

    • #8320
      DisenchantedDisenchanted
      Participant

      Ok LionLady at your request, here are the two posts of mine left unresolved in your original shamanism thread. The first with questions, the second one just seeking your ideas/thoughts on Collin’s theories.

       

      post #7140:

      @LionLady

      What do you think about comparing Gnostic knowledge with shamanism? This question comes from what I read in an interview with John Lamb Lash. Again the subject of psychotropics comes up, or in this case JLL calls them psychoactive plants. This interview is called the Karmapolis Interview. In the very first sentence of his response to this particular question(quoted below), JLL equates Don Juan’s sorcery with shamanism. How does that fly with you? From reading your original detailed response to me about shamanism, I’m thinking it’s not going to fly very well. But I do think that describing shamanism as “shifting the parameters of perception” seems to be a pretty accurate fit. Thoughts?

       

      Karmapolis: Why do you compare the Gnostic knowledge to shamanism? Did the Gnostics engage in research about cognition, and other ways to perceive reality? Did they use hallucinogenic substances like shamans use ayahuasca, peyote or psilocybin ?

      JLL: Don Juan says that sorcery (shamanism) is about shifting the parameters of perception. I believe that Gnostics were masters of this practice. They were heirs to a long tradition of shamanism deriving from the indigenous peoples of Europe and Asia going back to Paleolithic times. In Gnosis, the path of heightened perception (to use Castaneda´s term), we see a sophisticated method of shamanism, a kind of high-tech shamanism, if you will. Techniques of paranormal perception were taught and transmitted in the Mystery Schools founded and led by gnostokoi, “those who know about divine or supernatural matters.”

      According to the “Wasson thesis,” the ritual use of psychoactive plants was the basis of all genuine religion on Earth. Gordon Wasson and Albert Hofmann, the Swiss chemist who discovered LSD, proposed that the kykeon, the sacred potion drunk at the Eleusinian Mysteries, was a mixture of ergot fungus, the organic basis of LSD. Hence, it was a psychedelic potion. Much solid research has been done that supports this idea. Also, the use of psychoactive mushrooms in the Mysteries has also been proposed, based on good research. It is now certain that ancient shamanic cults such as the Mysteries used psychoactive plants to achieve temporary egodeath and shift the parameters of perception. I believe that the Gnostics were deeply skilled in the use of psychoactive plants, including mushrooms. However, I have not found any direct evidence of this in the NHC materials.

       

      One other thing…in reply #7120 you mentioned watching Avatar(I have seen it, but not in 3D) and I thought you might find JLL’s review of Avatar interesting. If you haven’t seen it already, it’s here: http://www.metahistory.org/dynamyth/Avatar.php
      —————————

      Post #7998:

      Since I’ve finished the book[Cygnus Mystery by Andrew Collins] now and it was too late to edit my previous reply, I thought I’d add this LionLady because I thought you might find it interesting in light of what you said here:

       

      In my experience, a shaman is born with inborn wiring, for some unknown :) reason, that acts as an antenna/receptor for the stuff at the edges of the kinds of things that seem ‘normal’ for the majority of folks – mostly ’cause they won’t work at gaining this kind of access personally – too scary/difficult/un-comfy. It’s my suspicion that shamanic lineages are wash/rinse/repeat generational pre-dispositions of DNA that get strengthened by being reinforced down through the lineage until they become naturally hard-wired into certain individuals, thus the small percentage of humans who are born this way (2%, if I remember my research correctly).

      I think you’ve mentioned this(or something along the same lines) several times in this thread. So let’s boil Andrew Collins main thesis for his book The Cygnus Mystery down to the nitty-gritty with a passage from the final chapter(22: The True God Star) that could explain this “inborn wiring” you speak of:

      In the end there are two theories that come out of this ground-breaking research concerning the possible accelerated evolution of the human race owing to cosmic rays. Firstly, it may have increased the speed of evolution of the entire human race(i.e. from Neanderthals to Homo sapiens sapiens – the Meinels’ contention), or, more likely, it resulted in enhanced evolution among only some humans, qualifying them for the role of shamans/priests, communicators deep underground[hence the cave art – Dis] with the perceived cosmic source of life and death. Either solution might prove to be correct, yet far more research is needed before any final answers might be forthcoming(although see the Postscript below for a review of the extraordinary work of British anthropological writer Denis Montgomery, who in two books argues persuasively that cosmic rays originating from the Cygnus region helped accelerate human behaviour and evolution during the last Ice Age).

      So there you have it…he wrote a paper(on this Cosmic Ray question) too that’s not in the book. But you can find it here:

      Cygnus X-3 and the Cosmic Ray Question

       

      "There is a dream dreaming all of us." ~ Kalahari Bushmen

      • #8425
        LionLadyLionLady
        Participant

        Hi, Dis:

        Thank you very much for re-posting your questions. If I’d moved them over myself, I wasn’t sure I’d select what you were still interested in exploring – so this helps a bunch.

        1. ‘. . . comparing Gnostic knowledge with shamanism . . .’ (Disenchanted)

        I can’t – since I am a rank beginner regarding anything beyond an initial exploration of the Gnostics.
        Other than examining the research that Graham Hancock has done in his ‘The Master Game’ or the pathetically brief foray I’ve made into JLL’s ‘Not in His Name’ to date – or into another very interesting study of Gnosticism by researcher/journalist Eric Zuesse (who writes about world politics/etc. on GeorgeWashington’s Blog) called ‘Christ’s Ventriloquists: the Event that Created Christianity’, I can claim no expertise on Gnosticism at all; but I hope to gain a better idea of what that is all about, outside of having noted ‘The Gospel of St. Thomas’, which was often referenced by Joseph Campbell in his works as seminal to his view of the true nature of Christianity. Also, I did buy ‘A New Translation: The Dead Sea Scrolls’ for my partner – who has bogarted it quite successfully, so I’m still ‘in queue’ to read it.

        An aside: Right now that’s a fair definition of my life at the height of the usual Summer workload: ‘in queue’. Lots for me to catch up with when we’re going into Winter and the larder is full. Right now I’m bread, buttered too thin these days. All of these tomes are in the stack of books by my bed and WILL be consumed when the frost is on the pumpkin and the days are getting short. So – I’ll have to table this question for much later, when I have something worthwhile to contribute. :)

        2. “JLL equates Don Juan’s sorcery with shamanism. How does that fly with you? . . . I do think that describing shamanism as “shifting the parameters of perception” seems to be a pretty accurate fit. Thoughts?” (Disenchanted)

        I would have to politely disagree with JLL in equating sorcery with shamanism. Sorcery is a highly directed personal use of shamanic abilities to control/create/manipulate. This is where the players begin to become separated from the controllers as they evolve as potential shamans, i.e. the fork in the road.

        Temptation to mis-use abilities to gain power is huge at that point, and most humans fall to its seductions. I’ve read Castaneda’s works, but not recently. There was always such a sense of darkness around those books that I had a hard time forcing myself to continue with them – but I did. As my teacher said many years later, ‘It’s wise to know one’s enemy – both within and without.’ And Don Juan did engage frequently with that aspect of things. The series has great value in terms of showing ‘The dark side of the Force’, if you will – but not the essence of shamanism in its most pure sense. A Brujo/Sorcerer is a dark warrior, in my book – capable of great good . . . or great evil, so s/he walks the thin line between the two worlds of dark and light – and thus enforces the quality of Dualism in the world. Shamans aren’t about Duality -they are about Wholeness. And that, for me, is the great difference.

        To describe shamanism as “shifting the parameters of perception” is accurate – IF it is confined to his/her own parameters of perception. When a shaman begins to attempt to shift the parameters of perception’ in others – without their awareness or agreement (I do not include students/initiates/acolytes such as Castaneda claimed to be, as they have chosen to participate in the shamanic adventure of their own free will), then we are truly at the fork in the road in terms of our personal paths. It is at this point that a shaman either remains a shaman – or moves to the shadow side of things where sorcerers reign. Self-expansion into greater awareness is legitimate in my book; the use of such abilities to move unsuspecting others into a controlled/directed experience of same though the shaman’s will is quite another story . . .

        I think you can imagine where I’m going with this: such use of abilities leads to becoming a part of all that is unworkable in our modern world, i.e. the manipulation of others for our own ends. No thank you. A true shaman is in service to the continuing expansion of consciousness in others – not to their entrainment or enslavement to his/her own vision of ‘how IT should be’. That way lies madness – as both On the Beach and Cog have so eloquently laid out for us regarding the current Insanity of Modernity.

        3. JLL’s review of Avatar interesting. If you haven’t seen it already, it’s here: http://www.metahistory.org/dynamyth/Avatar.php (Disenchanted)

        No – I hadn’t seen it – so I deeply appreciate your linking it for me to explore. I am in almost 100% agreement with JLL’s very beautiful review of the film – with a few divergences from his views:

        “Christianity is rarely a choice of those who embrace it. It rose to power historically by the brutal decimation of the indigenous peoples of Europe, aka Pagans. In Not in His Image, I compare this massacre to the wholesale genocide and “conversion” of the Native Americans by European colonists. Avatar makes no attempt to depict converson of the natives to a religious ideology of divine paternalism, perhaps just to bribe them with t-shirts and six-packs. The invaders of Pandora declare no triumphant religious ideology: they are pure military-corporate predators in search of a rare mineral. But an honest study of modern history shows that corporations and military orders from the US Army to the Knights of Malta rely on divine paternalism, putting God on their side.” (JLL via Disenchanted’s link)

        Christianity (or any other outside-administered system of belief) is always a choice – at least at some point in our own personal awakenings; otherwise, we truly are automatons here, simply going through the motions like ‘Cloud Atlas’ replicants drinking ‘the soylent-green kool-aid’ non-stop. Ugh! (Note: ‘Cloud Atlas’ is another truly great film in my estimation, even if it doesn’t reach the lofty heights of Cameron’s ‘Avatar’ vision – so much is included that humans are only now beginning to quiver to, in resonance with something greater.)

        The ‘wholesale genocide and “conversion” of the Native Americans by European colonists had to happen in terms of establishing their own imported ‘divine mandate’ as laid out by religion, one that links neatly back to your current discussion with OntheBeach regarding the illusion of land ownership (which I will also be talking about on my Forum’s Community Creation thread).

        European-based culture is nothing without the mutually-agreed-upon ‘game’ of money-as-religion and ownership as its structural manifestation – thus landholds, fiefs, territories, provinces, states, nations, unions, etc. as establishing and defining personal identity and worth rather than the original determiners of region and relationship as identifiers. All of this was at complete odds with the indigenous knowing that none of us ‘owns’ anything at all – least of all the Earth beneath our feet – and thus a fight to the death between two completely conflicting visions of being here on Earth was unavoidable. The indigenous vision was such a threat to European goals that the fervor to squash these savages flat was obsessively pursued beyond anything we could currently comprehend.

        In my opinion, at our very highest state of Being while here on Earth, we are offered the chance to be stewards and caretakers as well as participants of this place, with firm limits as to what that means. It’s like being sorcerer’s apprentices en masse – and the temptation to abuse this privilege is terrific. What a test of our mettle, eh?

        Our minds and awareness allow us to toy with the illusion that we were handed the keys to this kingdom and thus we are free to do with it what we wish. In truth, we are here on trial regarding our awareness of ‘what IS’ and how we will employ that immense ability to either create or destroy – and we are failing miserably. We are not the masters of the Earth; we are totally dependent upon it for our very survival in these physical envelopes we hold so dear – and yet we are systematically destroying all that we depend on for Life.

        In the grip of fervent Christian/Crusader zeal, non-indigenous immigrant humans gladly gave up their personal sovereignty for land and power – and thus fell from grace. What has been destroyed in the wake of that tremendous fall/fail is direct access to our own salvation through remembering who we truly are and what that represents. The realm of the indigenous was too great a field of potential personal revelation about our true nature as humans and so it could not be allowed to survive – and was destroyed to the bones. The Americas were a huge ‘killing field’ of our own innocence and sense of personal responsibility. We gave up our human birthright for a ‘mess of pottage’ in the form of gold, glory and ‘power’ and have been paying the price for that mistake ever since.

        The invaders of Pandora do ‘have a religion’: the religion of money and power – the same one that rules our world today, if we are brutally honest with ourselves. The invaders are simply more honest about it. There’s no nice overtures to the natives or missionary zeal to convert – but simply to get on with the using of the planet purely as a consumable resource. Sound familiar? It’s what we’re doing to our own home, if we also decide to be more honest about it. Our current way of life in what OntheBeach calls ‘Modernity’ is totally based upon the religion of money and power – nothing else. And we, the consumers who depend on this artificial system, are feeding it. A true cognitive dissonance of the highest order, as Cog has so often reminded us.

        That lethal blindness towards our own self-destruction leads directly down the chute of materialism in the worst sense. Yes – materialism is a part of being human – but in a completely different way than currently used in order to more tightly control all of us. Duality continues to hold sway when we make ‘either/or’ judgments about anything, even things that it’s very PC at present to reject, like ‘materialism’. We simply are not seeing it for what it truly is. Materialism, for me, is a way to make tangible the outcome of my own explorations in being a creator/creative-in-training while here on Earth this time around. Nothing more, nothing less.

        A personal aside: Early on in my life, I simply knew that it was absolutely possible to manifest solid things from ‘the ethers’. I knew it. But – I couldn’t do it. Talk about frustration! I was about 10 at the time, and the sense of being blocked away from using something I knew was true was actually frightening – but here in this physical existence, it just didn’t happen for me no matter how hard I tried. That was a cognitive dissonance of the first order for me as a child!

        Cameron resumes many shamanic and mythological themes with exceptional accuracy. This is extremely unusual by Hollywood standards. I don’t know who he consulted for the mythology incorporated into the story and imagery of his masterpiece… Perhaps he has a secret guide and advisor. He claims to have seen the entire film in a dream earlier in life. Like a terma, a wisdom-treasure, it was given to him intact and whole from the first moment. Such an experience is typical of tertons, treasure-finders, as well as of master musicians such as Mozart and Scriabin, who claimed to have heard their huge compositions in a single second. The French author Balzac, also, claimed to have had a moment of “cosmic consciousness” in which he saw the entire plot and all the characters, about 242, of his serial novel, The Human Comedy. (JLL via Disenchanted’s link)

        In my estimation, John Cameron is a true shaman of a certain kind – and in my opinion he did come to ‘Avatar’ on his own; he didn’t need a secret guide and advisor. He is a visionary-cum-filmmaker, as are several other notable producer/directors now making films. Cameron, as well as Ridley Scott, the Wachowski siblings, Peter Jackson, the late Stanley Kubrick, and a few others, have threaded their way through the razors and knives of commercial output to bring us things we need to see. These people walk a thin and dangerous line between the stuff that the PTB want out there to herd and distract the masses, and their own personal visions as laid out via their own directorial insights about what IS, what’s going on in the world, and how to deal with it. They do work in metaphors – but I believe that each of them has been offered this path in life to unfold their own personal gifts for the rest of us. The degree to which they have succeeded is a fascinating study of playing both sides against the middle.

        I’d like to share a little story here as to why Cameron – as well as ‘Avatar’ in particular – is of such interest to me:

        John Cameron is a remarkable man. I met him once – briefly – at a conference on CGI animation techniques back in the 90‘s. I was in my mid-40’s at the time, with a lot of advanced computer graphics experience under my belt, and this was a field I passionately wanted to work in. At the end of his presentation, I walked up and asked him to speak with me about a career in CGI – and he agreed. So I told him what I wanted to do and waited to hear what he had to say about it.

        He was blunt and to the point – in a devastatingly caring manner: Nope. Not for me. Too old. I was at first beyond insulted and angry. How dare he! But – he continued by explaining to me in great detail how it really works in the biz . . . and by the time he was done, I was convinced – if deeply disappointed. What he did (and he certainly didn’t have to) was to save me from something that would have destroyed my life; and I will always be eternally grateful to him for doing so. I found him to be deeply caring, clear and honorable – absolutely NO bull from the man.

        I also believe that JLL is completely correct in his assessment of Cameron being the author of his own vision regarding ‘Avatar’. Here’s why: At the time of that meeting, Avatar was over 14 years from becoming a a film – but what is even stranger is that, when I did see it in January of 2012, I cried almost all the way through the film . . . because I had seen it before. In a flash-forward predictive vision while flying home from a job interview in 1981, I was shown a flurry of scenes from Avatar as the future of film-making. The vision was very thorough and stuck strongly in my memory. To see the very same scenes on the screen in 2012, put there by a man I had met and who I’d had a CGI-based conversation with, was mind-blowing. Talk about time warps and synchronicity over years and years. I am still amazed at the elasticity of inter-related experiences like this one, which makes reading JLL’s review even more soul-satisfying for me.

        Pagans observe and revere the balance of life. Comprised in that balance is the precarious equipoise of the ordinary and the sublime. Experimental mysticism consistent with shamanic traditions of untold antiquity reveals that supernatural power is present in the natural world, right here, right now. Gaia’s sublimity of beauty is itself a supernatural force. To enter that beauty and to be rapturously consumed in it, trembling in your cells, and staggering from its impact like a drunken sailor on deck in a typhoon—this entrance, corporeal and immediate, makes the beholder belong to the beauty and long to be forever in that beauty, or else live a life diminished, self-suppressed, narrow and shallow. After a genuine biomystical encounter with the Earth Mother in her naked splendor, you no longer belong just to yourself. And in that encounter, beauty begins to make you her own. (JLL via Disenchanted’s link)

        This excerpt directly addresses the kind of experience OntheBeach is referencing in his current threads and articles. These are things that I have also experienced, which has made me a committed supporter of OtB getting this essay series uploaded and available. JLL’s description above is very close to what I have felt when experiencing the ineffable and so I am very glad that readers and members of TIF are currently able to both read and dialogue with OtB about all of this since he is so much more articulate about it all that I could ever be. It is a unique and rare opportunity, one I hope many members will take advantage of. Such experiences have had a profound affect on the way I do my own art and how I express myself – and I feel that anyone who has had the grace of such an awakening has opened a door to endless creation and vision in the expression of their own personal gifts while here on Earth – and beyond.

        I don’t know where Cameron got his mythology, or if he needed or heeded advice from anyone like the likes of me. In Living Myth I register my view that renowned comparative mythologist Joseph Campbell badly advised Spielberg and Lukas on the plot for Star Wars. He gave them the dead-end drama of Persian dualism, the battle of Light and Darkness. What he ought to have given them, I believe, was a Gaian myth such as the Sophianic vision of the Mysteries. Cameron’s film resonates in many ways to that vision, but its principal strength is pure shamanic hunter mythology of prehistory. (JLL via Disenchanted’s link)

        I agree with JLL on this one – I, too, found Campbell falling well short of exploring beyond his original discovery of the global nature of local myths and showing how they have come down to us now as interconnected visions of something greater. He was busily tying them all together to illustrate his premise of a single story told many different ways – but always gave the goddess aspect of myth over to second place in his studies, placing it behind his emphasis on the male hero figure. That said, he did begin to lecture on the goddess in his later years. His contemporary, Marija Gimbutas, covers the earlier mythological goddess aspect of Nature in her own masterpiece ‘The Goddesses and Gods of Old Europe’, as did Campbell’s protege Jean Houston in her later works. Note: Gimbutas’ book goes into great detail about the matrilineal aspects of village culture that existed prior to 5500 BCE and the slow advent of patriarchal rule and I will be referencing it over on my community thread later on.

        The heroine Neytiri brings to mind the nubile Neolithic archer from the Cave of the Shaggy Bear close to where I live in Andalucia, Spain. Here is the perfect image of Artemis, the chaste and elusive huntress of Greek myth. She is best known for having an old man named Actaeon devoured by his hunting dogs when he happened to see her bathing naked in the moonlit, and lusted after her lovely form. But a more ancient myth reveals the true scope and purpose of the huntress’s vengeful nature: when the hunter Orion exceeded the quota of animal prey set for him by the Earth Mother, Artemis sent a giant scorpion to sting him to death. (That version of “the revenge of Gaia” was not written by James Lovelock.) (JLL via Disenchanted’s link)

        The above comment by JLL is also very synchronous for me, as one of my work commissions back when I had my own faux finish/mural-painting business in the 90’s (overlapping my concurrent CGI interests) was to paint this very myth on the dining room ceiling of one of my client’s homes in Southern California. I still have photos of it, but would have to scan the thing to upload it – so let’s just use our imaginations, ok? :) I now know how Michelangelo felt while lying on his back, painting – I spent a fortune on chiropractors that year!

        4. And now – on to Swans, DNA and enhanced evolution!

        [Cygnus Mystery by Andrew Collins] a shaman is born with inborn wiring, generational pre-dispositions of DNA I think you’ve mentioned this(or something along the same lines) several times in this thread. So let’s boil Andrew Collins main thesis for his book The Cygnus Mystery down to the nitty-gritty with a passage from the final chapter(22: The True God Star) that could explain this “inborn wiring” you speak of:
        concerning the possible accelerated evolution of the human race owing to cosmic rays. Firstly, it may have increased the speed of evolution of the entire human race(i.e. from Neanderthals to Homo sapiens sapiens – the Meinels’ contention), or, more likely, it resulted in enhanced evolution among only some humans, qualifying them for the role of shamans/priests, communicators deep underground[hence the cave art – Dis] with the perceived cosmic source of life and death.

        the extraordinary work of British anthropological writer Denis Montgomery, who in two books argues persuasively that cosmic rays originating from the Cygnus region helped accelerate human behaviour and evolution during the last Ice Age). Cygnus X-3 and the Cosmic Ray Question (Disenchanted)

        The above scientific link is well beyond my mental pay-grade, Dis – but here’s one I was able to puzzle through on the same subject:

        The Cygnus Mystery: http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/ciencia/ciencia_cygnus.htm#contents

        There’s a lot of content at that site to plow through, so I admit to dipping into it in bits and pieces. Overall, I think all of this information, while fascinating in its breadth, continues the myth that only Science has the answers to our human evolution – a conclusion with which I seriously disagree.

        There is no way to know for sure what produced the roughly 2% that became shamans (or even when/how that happened), but I very much doubt that something as massive as the Cygnus Event only singled out the DNA of certain lineages of humans while skipping entirely over the majority of others. I would definitely consider this cosmic event as very likely having affected our collective DNA, but not towards the production of shamans – or the ‘sudden’ advent of the gifted artists who painted in the caves. BTW, no one ever lived in these caves; they were only visited for ceremony, initiation or for very secret shamanic gatherings, in my opinion. I hope someday soon to actually visit one of these deep worlds and see for myself the work that has so inspired my own artwork. It’s been on my bucket list for ages.

        Whew. Glad you’ve been so patient in waiting for me to address these excellent questions, Dis. I confess to a flurry of distractions that took me away from diving into your lovely stuff earlier, due to the advent of summer on the ranch, pressing family events (weddings and funerals), seasonal events (orchards, gardens & CANNING), plus ‘significant-other’ feeding and fluffing, etc. – I am, unfortunately, as strapped by human living requirements as the next Lion. Thanks for ‘bearing’ with me (and yes – we’ve even had one of those to deal with lately – as well as a too-close-for-comfort cougar who has taken up residence on the mountain.)

        It’s been a bit busy here, of late . . .
        Cheers! LionLady

    • #8453
      DisenchantedDisenchanted
      Participant

      Thank you so much LionLady for taking the time out of your busy schedule to write that long and wonderful reply to my queries. Your struggling little ‘grasshopper’ appreciates it very much. In the next couple of days when things calm down here, I’ll be back to re-read, think on it…and most likely ask some more questions. :)

      Cheers!

      "There is a dream dreaming all of us." ~ Kalahari Bushmen

      • #8492
        LionLadyLionLady
        Participant

        Hi, Dis:

        Glad you found this response and that you know I do try to keep my agreements! Albeit reallyreallyREALLY LATE on this one.

        As for being a ‘struggling little ‘grasshopper”, gedouttahere! You’re doing ‘jes FINE over there in your beach chair, dishing on with OtB. I’ve been following your hoppings about with him and they are wonderful – especially the time/TS Elliot stuff. I think OtB is having a blast traipsing about with you on your many and varied explorations. I know I am.

        Keep on Truckin’!
        L/L

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