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Shamanism

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  • John Pastore
    If anything, shamanism s role in past Mayan culture is still underestimated, though somewhat less in recent years. It remains as underestimated as the concept
    Message 1 of 5 , Aug 1 8:12 AM
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      If anything, shamanism's role in past Mayan culture is still
      underestimated, though somewhat less in recent years.

      It remains as underestimated as the concept of shamanism itself
      remains imperceived, though also somewhat less in recent years -
      an imperception proportional to those who never get past an
      insistance that only their brand of the supposedly strictist
      investigations of component parts, but never theirintegrations,
      can yield a perceptible whole.

      The grasp of any shamanism and any civilization, much less
      their integration, hinges at least as much on matters of
      adduction as deduction.

      The authors' of the dissertation are (or had been?), I think,
      more interested in being the defenders of a status quo for
      science (and, in at least one case, a defender against cultural
      embarrassment) rather than recognize a great truth of Mayan
      civilization.

      They are also convinced that anthropolgy is, in part, the study
      of how the component parts of civilizations are so universal
      that only a few adaptations for local color and speech make the
      whole of any civilization different from any another: that,
      given equal environment and freedom from natural calamity, all
      cultures would evovle to same attainment and status.

      The authors also professed their conviction that all cultures
      have had, and attach the same value to, the same role playing.
      The authors' argument that many present day Mayanists are, out
      of misguided romanticism, over-differentiating between
      (nevetheless our) "priests" and (their) "shamans", and over-
      emphasizing the role of shamanism, is, in fact, hopelessly
      fatal to their ever grasping the concepts of shamanism and
      civilization much less their integration .

      As difficult as it already is to grasp the concept ofshamanism,
      much less as the component it is in one civilization while not
      in one's own, especially for those who cannot escape from the
      notion, (and oftentimes embarrassment), that shamanism can be
      nothing more than over-romanticized, tribal voodoo, it must be
      even so much more difficult to perceive the even now unveiling
      expanse to which the Maya did take it.

      (Whew! How difficult it is, even irreverent, to consider
      anything other than the very pressing current events. The news
      however that Congress, though for the wrong, at least stated,
      reasons, has delayed a decision on Bush's "permenent" 'Homeland
      Security' (or as Mexicanists, for example, should
      recognize: 'Secretary of Governation') is somewhat of a
      reprieve.

      It may help Sam to know that the same lack of 'vigor' being
      experienced by Aztlan is being experienced by all the academic
      groups on the internet. They have been absolutely moribund.)

      Cheers,
      John

      Copyright � AZTLAN <AZTLAN@...> 2002.
      All rights reserved.
    • ECOLING@aol.com
      Just a short note to let people know that my posting on the CA Shamanism article was because Sam Edgerton brought it to my attention, and wanted some
      Message 2 of 5 , Aug 15 6:42 AM
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        Just a short note to let people know that my posting on the CA
        Shamanism article was because Sam Edgerton brought it to my
        attention, and wanted some discussion on AZTLAN.

        I was totally unaware of the ongoing discussion in the "Other"
        topic of AZTLAN, because I have not been subscribing to the
        "Other" topic. So of course my posting was not a comment on any
        other posting which appeared there, and I will not see any
        continuing discussion which appears under "Other" unless the
        messages are also sent to me individually. That is how it should
        be. I made the choice to not subscribe to "other". This is *not*
        a request to either send or not send such responses to me
        individually, it is just clarification.

        I am sort of interested in what threads in the "Other" topic have
        been most productive, viewed in retrospect from a month or more
        later, not in the heat of then-current debate. (For me the
        question is whether I should go into the archives to look at some
        of them.) For *this* question I would appreciate a few evaluations
        from long-time list members, sent to me personally, not to the
        list unless you think a note is valuable to the list as a whole.

        Best wishes,
        Lloyd Anderson
        Ecological Linguistics
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