New PDF release: An Encyclopedia of Shamanism, vol. 1
By Christina Pratt
Shamanism could be outlined because the perform of initiated shamans who're special by way of their mastery of a number altered states of realization. Shamanism arises from the activities the shaman takes in non-ordinary fact and the result of these activities in usual fact. it's not a faith, but it calls for religious self-discipline and private sacrifice from the mature shaman who seeks the top levels of mystical improvement
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Extra resources for An Encyclopedia of Shamanism, vol. 1
Any ritual or ceremonial form can be practiced by rote in a way that does not engage spirit, either because the form is not appropriate for the current situation to which it is applied, or the individual officiating is not able to open an authentic connection with spirit and engage the help of the spirit world. When spirit is not engaged, the ritual and ceremony are both empty and powerless as tools for change. In this case ritual and ceremony are no longer distinctly different and the words could be used interchangeably.
Journeying and embodiment are the trance states at opposite ends of the narrow range of altered states that together compose shamanic states of consciousness. In Psychomental Complex of the Tungus (1935), one of the most authoritative ethnographic studies of Siberian shamanism, author Shirokogoroff posits that the most basic attribute of the shaman’s trance is the mastery of spirits, or embodiment of the helping spirit. The Tungus distinguish between an involuntary possession trance, which is an illness, and the voluntary embodiment trance of the shaman.
Different cultures recognize different types of consciousness. Some cultures have a highly refined awareness of different states of consciousness, while the awareness of consciousness in other cultures is quite limited. For example, the Buddhist Abhidhamma, the third great section of the Buddhist Scriptures thought to be the earliest product of Buddha’s thought directly after Enlightenment, lists 108 different states of mental cultivation. In contrast, contemporary Western cultures recognize only three states: consciousness, sleeping, and dreaming.
An Encyclopedia of Shamanism, vol. 1 by Christina Pratt