INTRODUCTION And APPROACH
THE DIFFICULTIES :
' The trouble with you is that you understand things in only one way. What you
want to know makes no sense. Birds fly like birds and a man who has taken the
devil's weed flies as such. You agree that birds fly because you have seen them
flying. Flying is a common thing with birds. But you will not agree on other
things birds do because you have never seen birds doing them'
Don Juan to Carlos in The Teachings of Don Juan
The difficulty of relating the concepts to those of organised Religion as well as Science lies in
the alien-ness of the concepts in a technological age where the usage of words like shaman,
spirit, intent, power, second attention etc provokes a negative response from most people
to the point that they assume that anyone using these concepts must belong to another
time far back in History when human beings lived like animals.
The difficulties therefore arise due to presumptuous attitudes and invalid application of the
concepts and their related contexts in which they are valid. Most concepts, and even the
most common concept of knowledge, have unusual meanings and require a fluid context
in which these are to be treated, or else everything will appear meaningless or even
And this must be clearly understood : these concepts cannot be treated in a straight
jacket, rigorous, logical, scientific way, since most of these are not well defined concepts,
that have a meaning or usage that is consensual.
Furthermore, these are contrary to and totally at contrast to the physical concepts of
atoms, molecules, photons, particles, mass etc . But certain derived physical concepts
like waves, vibrations, energy, quantum etc are concepts that can possibly bridge the
difference with the caution that the user is fully aware of the context of the usage
as well as the motivation and purpose behind the exercise. If for example, one is
looking only for all possible logical inconsistencies and conflicts with scientifically
established facts, then these are abundant in the books, but will turn out to be
at the most only a pointless game.
For these concepts to be of some use, an imaginative, artistic and creative method
is called for, rather than a strictly scientific one. At many points in the books, as
well as here, there may appear to be overlapping of concepts and inconsistencies
in their usage, but it must be kept in mind that concepts like Spirit, Intent etc, are not
concepts that reason can handle very well, and thus these can only be handled
in a wide open ended context where insight into and understanding the essence
of what is being said, calls for a certain artistic bend of mind on the part of the
reader. Rigid consistency is a password for peanut brains who only have an axe
to grind, with a hidden interest only to derive pleasure from finding ingenuous
ways to ridicule others.
The Problems :
"You go from one extreme to the other "
The trillion dollar question that is being addressed here is : what is the validity of
this work in a modern technological world ? Especially so when it is incompatible
with either Religion or Science.
The following poniters are significant :
1. Organised religion has arisen out of certain immoral social conditions, mainly
those of man's exploitation of man and nature. Organised religion although in its
initiation does try to resolve moral issues, but very soon only serves to perpetuate
the vested interests of a certain class of people, usually the priests and their well
wishers. Organised religion only develops institutions that eventually become
corrupt, decadent and unable to respond to change, only stuck in the worship
of a certain doctrine or in the performing of meaningless rituals.
2. Science is only a set of facts about the material universe, and has little to do
directly with personal experience and values. If anything, science has only led to
greater and more reckless exploitation of nature. The one fact that both Science
and Religion fails to acknowledge is that science and technology emerge when
a dominant culture loses link with the Spirit, and goes on a conquering spree,
only to eventually destroy the ecosystem. At the end of it all, even an imminent
destruction staring at the face fails to move the scientists or priests, who deny
that any such thing can happen, or if they do realise it, just as quickly jump
the other way to mysticism, thereby proclaiming destruction as an inevitable
consequence of an endless cycle. In either case the rest of life and the
ecosystem is no one's baby.
Validity of the Work:
The gist of it all is that neither science, nor religion are by themselves viable
institutions that can manage and sustain a stable and progressive ecosystem,
and social structures are inherently unstable when societies lose their link with
the Spirit or Intent. In a sustainable ecosystem of life, intelligent species are
dependent on a living link to the life sustaining force - the Spirit of the World
or as sometimes native americans called it - the Great Spirit.
And it is here that these books assume significance for they do have a host
of comprehensive knowledge that can be the basis of the transformation into
societies that can regain their link to the Spirit.
This work is an attempt to interpret this knowledge and its validity in a
Article 2 : Overview of the Shaman
The last of the Shamans - BASE PAGE