Thursday, May 17, 2012

Reload, reload, reload! (The Shaman is a Schizo After All?)

Everyone with an interest in these subjects knows that there is an overlap between “shamanic” or “spiritual” perceptions and so-called “schizophrenic” ones. I have always assumed, without question, that (as I think RD Laing said), the shaman is able to swim in waters which the schizophrenic is drowning in. In other words, that schizophrenia was a mishandled or distorted experience of deeper, “shamanic” reality.

But what if the reverse is the case? What if shamans and gurus and spiritual people are simply those who have so fully adapted to - learned to navigate and communicate - their schizoid delusions that they are able to create (or connect with) believers in it, leading to sub-communities and counter-cultures in which delusional thought-forms became experiential reality?


I’m not saying this is what I think. I have known a least a couple of shaman-guru types who do seem a lot more balanced and sane than, say, Richard Dawkins. All I’m saying is—how can we be sure?

It’s a bit of a paradox, because if delusional belief is powerful enough to “create” false realities, then that idea itself confirms the schizoid/shamanic view of reality. In Dawkins’ view of things, the belief in God isn’t enough to create strong evidence for the existence of God, and so Dawkins looks like a chump and a poor scientist because he dismisses anything that challenges his argument, like those zealots who refused to look into Galilleo's telescope because they already knew he was insane. What I am positing would not please Dawkins and his ilk any more than it would your average New Ager: that belief is strong enough to create mental projections which will confirm that belief, but which are not sourced in anything objectively real.

This would have to allow the fundamental premise of both shamanic and schizophrenic experience: that everything is consciousness and that physical reality is therefore subject to change in accord with changes in (our) consciousness. However, if the assumption of a separate self, soul, or entity (including a Creator God) from which consciousness arises is erroneous, or at least unnecessary to the fundamental premise, then every subsequent perception that’s predicated on that idea (of a creator or experiencer) would also be false. 

God, spirits, angels, devils, the psyche, archetypes, shamans, gurus—anything in short that has any sort of empirical authority or meaning within the larger context of a living consciousness system—would all just be elaborate thought forms generated by that fundamental schizophrenia which underlies all “spiritual” and “shamanic” belief systems whatsoever.

Holy false reality models, Batman! Is it time to go back to the scrying mirror!?


Bruno said...

We live in a holy uncertain relative reality.

"If we really see uncertainty clearly, we will see that which is certain." Ajahn Chah


"when the false is seen as the false, the true is." Krishnamurti

What is certain is the observer of uncertainty: awareness.

What is awareness? Nothing!

Jasun said...

Good to know that nothing is certain, at least.

pueokeokeo said...

The only thing that is certain is that I have to have at least two "I"'s if there is going to be any joy in navigating this complex fucked-up beautiful world.

One "I" to sing praise.
One "I" to sing my grief.

and this thing called "ego" to say, " Aye Aye, Captain" ... serving those two "I"'s.

Jasun said...

the schizo speaks ; )

Psycho Choco said...

There once was a man who said "Though
It seems that I know that I know
What I would like to see
Is the I that knows me
When I know that I know that I know."

Judith said...

It's more than a little paradoxical, but paradox is the lingua franca of the border regions. You have come to a leap of faith, but have you ever known anyone to take that leap in good faith and regret it? That's faith, not belief! Could you turn back now, if you wanted to?

Jasun said...

Turn back to what?

I'm not sure faith is possible or even required.

It seems to come down to sheer courage. The guts to surrender to the unknown, and to not-knowing.

Knowing there's nothing to lose but our delusions.

soundlessdawn said...

*sigh* it's exhausting to be sure. Everyone is a little mad in a mad world. I think the politely insane most likely clump together.. but we're clever bastards.. who ever heard of something bad happening to emotionally unstable artistic/linguistic savants who are intellect heavy and always have their own death on the brain? We can create our own world, and will if one of us pursues holography and has a scientific slant. Sounds pretty cheery and promising to me.

Jasun said...

define "bad"

Jasun said...

i guess one definition could be: misusing the life-force to create pseudo-realities to hide in? : D

sounds like you know who....

Jasun said...

(begins with L*)

Penny said...

I would posit that the Sanskrit word "ruci" or taste, has everything to do with it. We will gravitate naturally to our own sense of beauty and meaning, the clearer we get. It is all experiential and almost impossible to put into words.

But", those who say, "there is no God, or, "one must be free of this and that," are quite different from those who, with childlike eyes sometimes say, Hey, if there IS a God, or whatever, SHOW ME. And then wait for the doors of perception (or fun) to open. It's a matter of taste. The spirit does it, and we are along for the ride, much like riding on the back of an animal, lol...don't you think?

Jasun said...

the child's perspective yes; then all questions are pointed only at the here and now: what is this? why is this like this? how do i do this?

there is no question about the meaning or purpose of existence: it is the body that asks, not the "mind."

I reckon the "mind" (conceptual thinking) cannot exist without meaning & purpose, however. That means to return to that innocence of pure seeing/riding, conceptual thought - along with the original concept of "I" - has to go.

Coco Loco said...

If conceptual thought has to go, then wouldn't all thought have to go, if all thought is metaphorical/conceptual? Perhaps with the thought that all thought is metaphor one can indulge in conceptual thought with the thought in the back of one's (concept) of mind that it's all gobbledygook with daily serving of neti neti on the menu. Maybe there is no difference between being crazy like a coconut and being crazy like a fox after all.