Cave 13b - the 164k question

The science or study of primitive societies and the nature of man.

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Postby woodrabbit » Wed Apr 16, 2008 10:20 pm

Ishtar, thanks for the reminder:
..... first Lewis-Williams book is on my Amazon wish list in competition with the stacks scattered around the house, but was unaware of his " Inside the Neolithic Mind: Consciousness, Cosmos and the Realm of the Gods", catchy title if there ever was one! May have to jump both to the head of my to buy list.

....an interesting aside that may fit into the Agriculture thread as well.

Attended lecture tonight on the the "Neuroscience of Curries", complete with tastings, all lovely, tasty and interesting etc... but the fun fact of the evening was that the development of cooking food/meat may have made way for the development of speech. Seems that our closest simian relatives, who don't cook, still have the massive jaw system, required for all things raw, that encroaches on the space that might otherwise be occupied by a developed larynx ie. eventual speech. Apparently the advent of "cooking" allowed for creating a softer meal and a decreased need for that massive jaw hence room for a larynx to develop.....

John, looking forward to you picking up your "Shaman/Shamaness" thoughts on the "Ancient Agriculture" thread.
Its more complicated than it seems.
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Postby dannan14 » Thu Apr 17, 2008 9:18 am

Thanks Ish! With tax season over i can now devote alot more time to stuff that is fun :P
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Postby john » Fri Apr 18, 2008 10:51 pm

woodrabbit wrote:Ishtar, thanks for the reminder:
..... first Lewis-Williams book is on my Amazon wish list in competition with the stacks scattered around the house, but was unaware of his " Inside the Neolithic Mind: Consciousness, Cosmos and the Realm of the Gods", catchy title if there ever was one! May have to jump both to the head of my to buy list.

....an interesting aside that may fit into the Agriculture thread as well.

Attended lecture tonight on the the "Neuroscience of Curries", complete with tastings, all lovely, tasty and interesting etc... but the fun fact of the evening was that the development of cooking food/meat may have made way for the development of speech. Seems that our closest simian relatives, who don't cook, still have the massive jaw system, required for all things raw, that encroaches on the space that might otherwise be occupied by a developed larynx ie. eventual speech. Apparently the advent of "cooking" allowed for creating a softer meal and a decreased need for that massive jaw hence room for a larynx to develop.....

John, looking forward to you picking up your "Shaman/Shamaness" thoughts on the "Ancient Agriculture" thread.


woodrabbit -

Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 7:20 pm Post subject: Nasca People
All -

Do some reading on the Nasca culture of Peru. There are elements of astronomy, possible zodiac (i.e., constellations identified by shape of a terrestrial species possessing symbolic/shamanistic power...... and I'll get back to that in a moment), and agriculture in their gigantic earth drawings. And, yes, I know I'm combining elements of several threads here.

But. From the practical side. Anyone here ever kept a compost heap? The seeds of members of the squash family simply explode out of a compost heap each spring. Especially the dread zucchini.

Now, the kernels of seeds of the squash family are pretty high grade protein - take pumpkin seeds for example - and are a prime candidate for being dried and or roasted for winter consumption. I believe the N. American Plains Indians were really big on both drying the flesh of the pumpkin and the seeds for winter provender, for example.

Inevitably, however, you would expect stray seeds to fetch up in the midden which is a characteristic element of these ancient bands of people staying in the same place for any extended period of time. Midden = Compost Heap in my mind. So, they winter up and, come spring, squash flourishes forth from midden. Another "aha" moment for incipient ancient agriculturalists. "Damn, if I plant some of these pumpkin seeds before I head out to the Summer range, when I get back here in the Autumn I'll have a bunch of pumpkins to eat". Which is exactly what many of the Plains Indians did.

Now, back to astronomy and the zodiac. It is logical that ancient, cognitive man figured out pretty early the relationship between certain stars appearing in a particular segment of the sky and terrestrial events: seasons, migrations of animals, growth and death of plants, weather (cyclones/anticyclones for example) and came to depend on the sky as a PRECURSOR of a cycle of events to come. Along with that came visual PATTERN. That group of stars is a salmon; that other one is a mammoth. Thus the sky-map, i.e., the sky seen as a map of visual symbolic triggers (constellations). And there is a serendipity here: "The salmon constellation is now rising over the horizon, the salmon will begin to run upriver in a month". To continue the salmon analogy, this also means that the dogwood will begin to bloom, the bracken fern will begin to sprout, the swans will be migrating North, etc., etc.. In short, the availability of various kinds of food, weather patterns, and the cyclical time of year become immediate, useable knowledge if you know how to read the sky-map.

So far, so good.

Now, two other variables present themselves.

1.) The abstract concept of time, and measuring time.

2.) The zodiacal concept of "Houses", which, combined with time, creates a period which is dominated by the constellation which rules a certain portion of the sky.

So now you have the season of the Salmon Spirit or God who rules an entire sequence of events and appearances, an increasingly exact way to measure that season, a means to predict the repetition of that season, and an intense desire to raise that ability to recognize and foretell, as that substantially raises the ability of the group to survive, and the rank of the person best able to foretell.

Enter the Shaman and/or Shamaness.

More to come.

john


Enter the Shaman and/or Shamaness -

OK.

You know the sky, you know the plants, you know the rivers, you know the migrations, you know the seasons.

All of this is deductive knowledge.

To know what drives the sky, the plants, the rivers, the migrations, the seasons,

Is inductive knowledge.

Which takes a special awareness.

Call it shamanic awareness.

An element of shamanic awareness is

That it is timeless, and spaceless.

It is bicameral,

Which is to say

It is a conversation in your head with, say,

A redtailed hawk, or a camas plant.

Or a piece of rock a couple million years old.

All of which are simultaneous.

This leads you to live in multiple time/space entities

In the present.

Which kicks you out of a passive deductive "reality"

Into a positive inductive "presence"

Which can modify the deductive "reality",

If you so choose.

Not for the faint-hearted, ever.

My point being, you should never

Confuse the knowledge gained from

Historical/temporal physical observation with

A daily bicameral conversation

With the world.


hoka hey


john




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Postby Ishtar » Fri Apr 18, 2008 10:58 pm

john wrote:
To know what drives the sky, the plants, the rivers, the migrations, the seasons,

Is inductive knowledge.

Which takes a special awareness.

Call it shamanic awareness.

An element of shamanic awareness is

That it is timeless, and spaceless.

It is bicameral,



Yes, John. Brilliant! Thanks. :D

Another way of putting this is that Nature is the visible face of Spirit.
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Postby Ishtar » Sat Apr 19, 2008 12:19 am

John

After some thought, I would go further.

In my opinion, the inductive gave way to the deductive at the advent of agriculture and religion. Both events are tied together in my view, as the inductive (shamanic) would have seemed to be more vital to the survival of a nomadic tribe than a settled one.

In the nomadic way of life, there would have been a more urgent need to experience a live and present communication with the gods, to follow where they are suggesting you go – not just when the salmon or wild elk would be migrating through (which can be worked out by deduction) but also how to avoid dangers such as predatory beasts and warlike tribes also crossing through the same area, which is an inductive function.

But once you move into enclosed, safer agricultural communities, the knowledge required from the tribe’s spiritual guide more or less boils down to ‘when are the rains coming?” and “when should we harvest?”. Thus the need to be in tune with the gods would have seemed less acute - as most of it could be deduced from watching the stars.

A few thousand years later, you are into the time of the Mystery religions - when Pythagorus and Plato travelled between the secret priesthoods in Egypt and India, and the Chaldean astrologers spread the Babylonian knowledge of the stars throughout Mesopotamia and the Middle East. By now, we are well into the deductive, and the inductive is just a memory. The gods and goddesses are reduced to metaphors based around agriculture to do with planting and harvesting. The great goddess Astarte's ash poles outside her temples were now thought to be because she had been a mere tree goddess. Nobody can remember how the shamans used to use those ash poles to climb to the upper worlds.

At special, secret sessions with carefully selected adepts, the jealously guarded scraps of knowledge would be passed on orally – the astronomy/astrology, the mathematics and so on. But the gods are no longer real and vibrant partners in life, but remote beings to be deified and worshipped. The myths would be passed on too, but no-one really understood the meaning of the metaphors they contained anymore ....which is why the next stage is inevitable, and any attuned shaman worth his salt would have seen it coming a mile off:

The Mystery religion myth of the dying and resurrecting godman, which had been told for thousands of years throughout the region, was suddenly turned into literal history by those making a grab for power. In order to maintain that illusion, the knowledge held by the Mystery religions had to be destroyed. Many libraries were eradicated, the most famous being the burning down of the library at Alexandria – imo a crime against humanity that’s right up there with the holocaust.

In addition, the power of the dark, intuitive (inductive) feminine Underworld (of the shaman’s three worlds) had also to be exterminated, by turning it into a burning inferno for those who wouldn’t toe the party line. And the shaman’s bright, rational (deductive), masculine upper world was turned into a Heaven for those who did obey - which is why they wouldn't have women priests and the only two women allowed in their story was either a prostitute or sexless.

Not much has changed significantly in our thinking since then, and so how have we coped with the loss of the inductive, from our birthright being snatched away from us? We have created a world where the inductive is not needed, where we don’t have to rely on the gods to advise us because we’ve got it all under control – or so we think. (That's, of course, barring natural disasters for which we blame God or the gods.) And we’ve managed to remain under this illusion for a long time – that is, until we began to realise that we can only maintain this way of life to the detriment of others who we share this planet with and, not least, that the Earth cannot sustain us living in this way for much longer.
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Postby john » Sat Apr 19, 2008 10:54 pm

Ishtar wrote:John

After some thought, I would go further.

In my opinion, the inductive gave way to the deductive at the advent of agriculture and religion. Both events are tied together in my view, as the inductive (shamanic) would have seemed to be more vital to the survival of a nomadic tribe than a settled one.

In the nomadic way of life, there would have been a more urgent need to experience a live and present communication with the gods, to follow where they are suggesting you go – not just when the salmon or wild elk would be migrating through (which can be worked out by deduction) but also how to avoid dangers such as predatory beasts and warlike tribes also crossing through the same area, which is an inductive function.

But once you move into enclosed, safer agricultural communities, the knowledge required from the tribe’s spiritual guide more or less boils down to ‘when are the rains coming?” and “when should we harvest?”. Thus the need to be in tune with the gods would have seemed less acute - as most of it could be deduced from watching the stars.

A few thousand years later, you are into the time of the Mystery religions - when Pythagorus and Plato travelled between the secret priesthoods in Egypt and India, and the Chaldean astrologers spread the Babylonian knowledge of the stars throughout Mesopotamia and the Middle East. By now, we are well into the deductive, and the inductive is just a memory. The gods and goddesses are reduced to metaphors based around agriculture to do with planting and harvesting. The great goddess Astarte's ash poles outside her temples were now thought to be because she had been a mere tree goddess. Nobody can remember how the shamans used to use those ash poles to climb to the upper worlds.

At special, secret sessions with carefully selected adepts, the jealously guarded scraps of knowledge would be passed on orally – the astronomy/astrology, the mathematics and so on. But the gods are no longer real and vibrant partners in life, but remote beings to be deified and worshipped. The myths would be passed on too, but no-one really understood the meaning of the metaphors they contained anymore ....which is why the next stage is inevitable, and any attuned shaman worth his salt would have seen it coming a mile off:

The Mystery religion myth of the dying and resurrecting godman, which had been told for thousands of years throughout the region, was suddenly turned into literal history by those making a grab for power. In order to maintain that illusion, the knowledge held by the Mystery religions had to be destroyed. Many libraries were eradicated, the most famous being the burning down of the library at Alexandria – imo a crime against humanity that’s right up there with the holocaust.

In addition, the power of the dark, intuitive (inductive) feminine Underworld (of the shaman’s three worlds) had also to be exterminated, by turning it into a burning inferno for those who wouldn’t toe the party line. And the shaman’s bright, rational (deductive), masculine upper world was turned into a Heaven for those who did obey - which is why they wouldn't have women priests and the only two women allowed in their story was either a prostitute or sexless.

Not much has changed significantly in our thinking since then, and so how have we coped with the loss of the inductive, from our birthright being snatched away from us? We have created a world where the inductive is not needed, where we don’t have to rely on the gods to advise us because we’ve got it all under control – or so we think. (That's, of course, barring natural disasters for which we blame God or the gods.) And we’ve managed to remain under this illusion for a long time – that is, until we began to realise that we can only maintain this way of life to the detriment of others who we share this planet with and, not least, that the Earth cannot sustain us living in this way for much longer.



Ishtar -

I've noticed that there seems to be

A deep sorrow, or, perhaps

Melancholy,

When a culture departs from the inductive

To the deductive.

This doesn't include, obviously,

The greedheads

Who are destroying, literally,

Our planet and our people.

I'm done for tonight........

Too depressing.

But I'll return to the subject.

Think W.B. Yeats,

"The Hawk's Well."



hoka hey




john
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Postby Ishtar » Sat Apr 19, 2008 11:30 pm

john wrote:
Ishtar -

I've noticed that there seems to be

A deep sorrow, or, perhaps

Melancholy,

When a culture departs from the inductive

To the deductive.


Well, yes - it is sad, it is depressing, because to live purely in the deductive comes at a price. The price is the loss of magic and mystery - and having to stay confined to a shallow, superficial flatlands existence where you no longer feel supported by the depths of the underworld and the continuity of life with your ancestors.

It's a world where scientists are paid to find ways to make life easier for us, instead of finding ways to give life meaning.

It's a light chasing existence where the darkness and 'death' is ignored or swept under the carpet, so the seeds of our creativity have no place to germinate and sprout.

This is why we see those more recently wrenched from this existence - the Australian aboriginals, the Native Americans - burying this sadness in drink.

In the past year, I've started to practise as a shamanic healer, and two people have come to me to tell me that they're depressed and "maybe they should go to the doctor about it?" I've replied, "Well, of course you're depressed. You're right to be depressed. The life you have is no life - it's just an existence occasionally livened with the odd stimulant. So you can go to the doctor and medicate yourself against this reality. Or you can change your life."

Shamans find that most illnesses (whether physical, mental or emotional) stem from a lack of power, or power loss. Most religions require the individual to hand over their power to them, and thus it has been for thousands of years.

From the Online Etymological Dictionary: (my bolding)


magic (n.)
c.1384, "art of influencing events and producing marvels," from O.Fr. magique, from L. magice "sorcery, magic," from Gk. magike (presumably with tekhne "art"), fem. of magikos "magical," from magos "one of the members of the learned and priestly class," from O.Pers. magush, possibly from PIE *magh- "to be able, to have power" (see machine).



That's why Christianity teaches that 'magic' (aka having your own power) is a sin.

With shamanic healing, I teach people how to get their power back. That alone makes them feel a hundred times better - before we even start exploring any other dimensions. :D
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Postby Ishtar » Sun Apr 20, 2008 4:27 am

I’ve just found this wonderful quote from the late, great historian of philosophy, Manly P Hall, who says it so much better than I ever could:


...the whole pagan universe is regarded as being alive. Nowhere in it is death to be found – only continual change accompanied by a certain sense of continual improvement, and a hazy, yet intriguing, promise of ultimate accomplishment.

It is unfortunate that Christian theology could not have perpetuated the magnificent pagan concept of a pulsating, vibrant universe instead of a world in which everything is dead except God in his threefold nature, man, the angelic orders and a motley assortment of devils.

In China, there is a famous saying: “The living Heaven and the living Earth.” The Rev. Canon McClatchie, for 25 years a Christian missionary and a student of Chinese philosophy, writes:

“Our Christian ideas teach us that the Heaven above us, and the Earth beneath our feet, are composed of dead matter; whereas the pagans one and all have ever regarded these as Beings endowed with life, and informed by a living soul (or ‘Mind’, as they generally designate it) which rules and governs the world as the soul does the body.”

Western theology ostensibly postulates the earth as simply a mass of inert substance slipped in under a falling humanity to prevent it from slipping through space indefinitely.

Not so long ago, theologians viewed heaven as a great dome with the constellations suspended like elaborate chandeliers from its inner surface, these lights owing their existence presumably to the fact that Divinity trusted the creation so little that he feared to leave his children alone in the dark. Somewhere also in the most substantial vault was a ventilator or skylight which could be opened to permit the descent of the New Jerusalem suspended on four cables and a windlass.

Invidious comparisons made by Christian writers as between Christian and pagan theologies demonstrated the perennial difficulty of creeds to see the beam in their own eyes; for in no respect is the heaven of the [Christian] theology a worthy substitute for the heaven of pagan philosophy, and nowhere among the cultured pagans do we find a concept of the universe so hopelessly inadequate as that assumed by Christendom.

To exchange the oppressive atmosphere of an inanimate universe for the sweep of that animate world of the Chinese is to escape from the prison house of sense into the larger world of mind and spirit.
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Postby woodrabbit » Tue Apr 22, 2008 9:20 pm

Ishtar shared...

In the past year, I've started to practise as a shamanic healer, and two people have come to me to tell me that they're depressed and "maybe they should go to the doctor about it?" I've replied, "Well, of course you're depressed. You're right to be depressed. The life you have is no life - it's just an existence occasionally livened with the odd stimulant. So you can go to the doctor and medicate yourself against this reality. Or you can change your life."

Shamans find that most illnesses (whether physical, mental or emotional) stem from a lack of power, or power loss. Most religions require the individual to hand over their power to them, and thus it has been for thousands of years.



Sandra Ingerman's book "Soul Retrieval: Mending the Fragmented Self" started me on my path of Shamanic studies. It found its way to me under appropiately bizarre circumstances.
Without expectation I found it to be an exquiste model of Therapuetic Psychology

From her book:

We often become physically ill following loss of soul or diminishment of essential spiritual energy. If the soul totally vacates the patient, the patient will die. It follows that, if the shaman can retrieve the lost soul parts, the individual can be restored to harmony and well-being. This retrieval is done by the shaman in an altered state of consciousness."


.....whether viewed as metaphor or practice....both work.
Its more complicated than it seems.
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Postby Minimalist » Tue Apr 22, 2008 10:01 pm

I'll stick with anti-biotics. I guess I lack imagination.
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

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Postby Digit » Wed Apr 23, 2008 4:40 am

The mind can be a powerful tool Min. When I mangled my right hand years ago the surgeons were going to amputate fingers, I refused point blank.
They left me for 5 hrs without pain killers to 'think about it'.
I did! I even spent time comforting a child whilst they waited for me to agree.
They were wasting their time as I was feeling no pain what so ever, after the first pangs my mind shut it down.
Also, whether this was relevant or not I simply don't know, but my tumour shrank without medication.
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Postby Ishtar » Wed Apr 23, 2008 5:02 am

woodrabbit wrote:
We often become physically ill following loss of soul or diminishment of essential spiritual energy. If the soul totally vacates the patient, the patient will die. It follows that, if the shaman can retrieve the lost soul parts, the individual can be restored to harmony and well-being. This retrieval is done by the shaman in an altered state of consciousness."


.....whether viewed as metaphor or practice....both work.


I did two soul retrievals in January and the two people concerned were walking around Sevenoaks like light bulbs for weeks afterwards. They still are, to some extent, although they are more grounded now. But their reactions were so apparent - they were so visibly 'cured' - that for a while there, I was worried. I thought 'either I'm going to get hailed as the next Messiah or they'll be burning me at the stake'. It could have gone either way, I felt. Luckily, neither happened!
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Postby kbs2244 » Wed Apr 23, 2008 1:54 pm

Digit:
I have to agree with you that sometimes human determination can beat the odds in a medical situation.
It has been documented too many time in the reverse, where someone “just gave up the will to live.”
But on occasions we hear a story where someone “refused to die.”
I will not go so far as to say these occasions, either way, have to do with the sprit realm.
I just think it shows we sometimes have powers we don’t know we have until we have to exercise them.
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Postby Digit » Wed Apr 23, 2008 2:00 pm

And unfortunately, 'cos scientists can't measure the action and independenly reproduce it, it doesn't exist!
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Postby kbs2244 » Wed Apr 23, 2008 3:07 pm

Amen
Peace be with you my child.
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