to be able to willfully communicate w/ the spirit worlds

course -
politics of representation, narative conventions
goal is to mess w/ your head, find what preconceptions you already have

most potential shamans resist it - you have to listen to the voices

shaman represents other experiences, even inside that culture, yet they strong figures

Black Elk Speaks
"the power is inthe meaning"
can be fringe or relevent - it's the known symbols + issues that make shaman relavent
   has to be removed, but can then see from afar
very literal tie to nature
how he's set apart - visions - need to make them known - responibility to help bring life
visions - he trying to find the solution to a riddle?
power of intent and of visualizing results - make it true that way
his power comes from power of belief - anyone could convince themselves that they
   have power, but he had visions - had no doubt of power
   also caught in history - past experience of other medicine men - they knew
     what his power should be
   the people that he heals also have to believe in his power -
     that's why he had to do the horse dance; also tradition of tribe - religion

  we need to read this - we are alienated/isolated      manichean dualism - good/evil, black/white
  distance between them and me - morrored in shaman/tribe relationship; wisdom <=> distance
  putting people on a pedastle - takes connection away
  can use distance to create respect [for a certain essence]
  shamans are on a pedastle, but it's a shakey one ]

"macking on the power + beauty..."
handwriting has become a personal language - sometimes only i can understand it, and others can if they know me
if i had an indian name it would be "sits-on-windowsills"
"the better you can express yourself in writing, the better you... orally, the less people will think you're a dork."
"pride - the only one of the dealy sins that's actually a sin.  the rest are character building" BG 9/9/98

Eliade --

[psychopomp - guide of souls (technical term)
 epistomology - study of ways of knowing    epiphany - showing knowledge
 ontology - study of waysof being           hierophony - showing hierarchy
 cosmology - rules of order of universe     kratophony - showing power ]

we want to find common threads - universality
shamans on fringe - understand fringe - can help people who venture there
specific arena in which we can see what reality is - people can look at it, relate to it
shamans able to go back to what used to be able to do - go back to collective memory time
    time-traveler   illud tempus
[language - smokescreen hiding what's inside. or are words all there is? words are reality?]

dreams and experiences are no good if don't have infrastructure to make them important
   nature of belief? what about personal importance - personal belief?

timelessness of elements of shamanism - yet shamans must go to other time - "eternal"
ecstasy - conscious stripped away leaving essential self (naked)
two kinds of teaching - mentor mythological/historical + ecstatic travel
can't get out of visions (terror) until heal self and others
isolation at a very existencial level - ontologically sacred - put ona pedestal

[image]            antistructure - opposite of normal is celebrated
                 liminal space   - unlimited, magical
                    _____        - ritually ripe/receptive
                    | | |
                 /  -----  \
                /  transformation
               /             \               sacred
--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
             /                 \             secular
 moment or departure       moment of return
        ____                   ____
        |  |                   |  |
        ----                   ----  restructure
   structure (neutral)

[models also adolescence] [implies return as well...]
how get from citizen to technician of sacred? go thru crazy experience
dawn of time - before written history as study - wen acts of man were volition of greater forces
[right side of brain - data, left side - modem - we've lost our modem connection]
soul has been disconnected - can travel - knows territory cuz been there before
nostalgia for paradise - shamanism defends world of light against dark
strive to represent a past - make it present again; make present a world not available to us
we can only project onto something of we are distanced - we project paradise on shaman

risk of fetishizing the things that interest us - humble curiosity is good, but it dangerous
counsciousness begun to develop 3000 years ago (before - could hear gods in head) - it's still developing - wnat future be like?
romance of ecstacy + travel

Levi-Strauss --

possibility that shamans have no connection yet be a successful healer
connects mind to body thru spirit - not transferable to modern medicine
doctor - provides actions, patient creates myth; shaman gives myth, patient does actions
   yet doctor does have role in constructing myth (?)
can't reach subconscious w/ words - need actions
do we unconsciously have ability to control our bodies? (psychosomatic)  shaman reach back in time when did
    supernatural/super human time - more human than human
bring myth down to personal level - believe can control forces
seperates outside spirits from inside spirits
does shaman deal w/ spirits or help patient deal w/ spirits?
Cuna have explanation for shaman's power - don't question it - we try to describe it in
   our own terms - science as belief - we think it's in the mind - they'd say we're crazy
abreaction - re-tell a story to make sense of it.
structuralism (levi-strauss)
  binary terms (not dialectic or dualism)
  - rational/emotional, good/evil,... paris of opposites, each given value
  when go into other culture - look for binaries - easy to see in oral texts - patterns
  not necessarily static - change/shift/move - a study is a slice in time

    +         -
  sacred    profane
  center    perifery
   sky       earth
 presence   absence
  cosmos     chaos
hot culture  cold culture

exegesis - observer stands outside - explanation from outside
assumption of homogeneity in cultures we don't understand
just because binaries seem to make sense doesn't mean doesn't mean everything must fill

humans are made of many facets - to seperate out one is questionable
generalizations - it's their obvious uses that can be dangerous
strategic essentialism - reducing or breaking down to essence - then can't be scrutinized - obvious - duh
    may have stopped investigation too soon
representation - "sign" - signifier - representations
                        \ [signified - reality] - this will always be disputed, so have to appreciate representations
nore differences - then accept it and make it part of your identity - that's troublesome
  denying people humanity - flaterring/simplifying them

female gymnast theory - if do something excellently, make it look easy

Harner --

simplifies shamanism - not like the intense things that happen to Black Elk or others
   waters down for the average person - scary enough + useful - we can't handle the intensity/aren't chosen
   there's also no communal investment - it's personal
initiation - still need to come to edge of survival
other "mentor" samans don't tell you exactly what to expect
uses exotic imagery - be affraid of crocodiles - like in movies - just because it's popular doesn't
    mean it's not true
he assumes universal set of symbols - can he?
maybe he shouldn't call it shamanism - it has uses in healing, but it's a different kind
doesn't have empirical method of science, and doesn't have cosmology of shamanism
colapses distance between what we feel is unleanrable + us - we value b/c scarce
need suffering
[faith and reason are incompatable]     
advances a kind of cultural tourism - we get instant spiritual knowledge we choose what we take
  he waited two years, we wait two pages

Time and the Other
make sure we don't get won over by genres and narative forms that work against our goals
we use chronology; assume time -> betterment -> time -> betterment -> time...
(orientalism - distance - 
      we represent the material/physical world in different "realities" - space between
      the two we like to be large - why? )
we look for fundamental commonalities by putting things on same level - can we?
mis-representing our own culture?
advocates use of same time/place
write about anywhere, but the more time you have w/ material - you will be
     less sensationalist, more complex
we are willing to talk about ritual in other places - for the most part won't/can't do it (seriously) in our culture*
newtonian physics - two bodies can't occupy same space - get political thought from that
evolutionists - look at people (other cultures) along line - behind us along route we've
    already traveled - in the past
    this then says that we're on the same track - basic human structure same - dirrectly relative to us
    assumes goal is to get to our state
cultural relativism - everything understood on it's own terms, using own definitions
    have to visualize world from another's point of view - hard to! asymtotic?
    but it does involve isolationis borders - can't understand it cuz aren't a part of it
    creates it's own distance

*paper: common ritual in our lives + recognition of it
linear v. cyclical time?
how can i believe in pattern (go out, encounter trouble, learn something, return) when i believe that you learn your entire life?
we make arguments that don't necessarily believe in - why?

time and the other contn'd --

functionalism - make sense of other's cultural elements - wholistic view of culture
     parts all function to make whole work - logical
     once again - an enclosed unit - disallows connection to outside influences/worlds
cultural personality - like stereotypes - dangerous because inflexible, but we all do it
ethnographical present - assumes nothing changes - story we tell has always benn true

Medusa's Hair
deals with some of the problems of anthro - talks about one subjectivity
we are both acted on by culture and shapers of it
lots of symbols come from interpersonal relationships - what we call politics
still imposed western psychological ideas
priestesses didn't look for meaning
cycle of symbols - has place in culture, then meaning to person (both personal and the drawn from
   history/culture) - then person is placed in culture...
suspicion of investigative process - coming to terms with imperfection + fragility of social investigation
how culturally specific + changing idioms/smybols are
borrowing of general guides - make it local - Buddhists + Hindus also use some of same gods
   culture is about appropriation + borrowing
   we live in shared world - it's our own orientalism that makes us think otherwise
   everyone has right to write about everyoneelse
   can't disallow explanation from outside
   should be vigilant about borrowing
   shaman - reaches out to other world + appropriates forms - communicate outside ideas
   ecstasy not just about mystical knowledge, but mundane, secular matters

_____            flux, in motion
( the world is complicated, hard to pin down, yet we need to-
       generalization is necessary - for convenience + comfort,
       but can't do it casually - dangerous
       all about subject-subject relations
       respect for other worlds
       anthro is not nec. bad guy
       good to recognize local knowledge - yet it can be a
          naive priviledging of direct voice
       seperation - either real you is in you, or it is apart from you
       where should we locate truth? just because a person is closer to the experience
          being described  doesn't necessarily mean that have priviledged access to truth.
          like inside our own heads - we're real close, but don't understand our true selves.
(____  this material should be liberating

perhaps i'm too relativist
"the world needs more explanation than less" bruce - true?
"most peoples' idea of being profoundly themself is to be profoundly someone else" bruce
harsh + masachistic view of cultural anth. - guilty of something
u.s. - irrepressible cheerfullness - perfectionist view - must recognize problems + love them

Taussig: --