Shamanism: Science and Modern Society

Topics: Science, Mind, United States Pages: 4 (1373 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Witch doctors, psychics, mediums, spiritualists are but just a few of the many names associated with Shamans. Many of us have heard these names echoed since childhood, but do we really know who these people are? In the United States these people are viewed as outcast; there hasn’t been a need for them in a very long time. Science, and modern technology have exiled the Shaman into the fringe of society. They remain a mystery to most, but beckon the open-minded. The Shaman is a spiritual wayfarer, that hasn’t thrived in the United States since the arrival of the white man, and his conquest of nature. There are many definitions for shamanism, but few reveal the true nature of the Shaman. In simple terms, the Shaman is a person called upon to serve as a herald for the realm of the dead, but a Shaman is much more. A Shaman is someone who has explored, and gained a great understanding of their inner being. They can tap into the force that flows throughout the world, and manipulate it. A Shaman can alter his conscience so that he may travel to other worlds filled with objects, and various kinds of spirits. In the spirit realm, a Shaman can gain knowledge in order to help in healing, and other matters at hand. He is a spiritual advisor, and a healer of both physical and mental ailments.

A destined Shaman is typically clued in to their destiny by various forms of suffering. The most common clue is an extended illness for which there is no apparent cure. During this time of suffering, the chosen person has dreams, visions, and journeys to the spirit realms, and are usually accompanied by a guild spirit. This spiritual guild commonly informs the ill person of their fate to become a Shaman. There is usually hesitation on the part of the chosen one, but the suffering breaks down the will of that person. In the end, the destined assumes the role as Shaman, and his suffering diminishes. With the guidance of an elder Shaman, or sometimes just their...
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