if you meet a shaman on the road…

“From the cavern, man does not like to stir” – W. Benjamin. Where is the scariest place to live. It may just be inside of us. But we love to project…..Antonin Artaud studied the Tarahumara indians in Mexico in 1936,who besides their compelling long distance running skills were also plugged into mystical currents, and solemn rituals with peyote;  a paranormal investigation of the space surrounding revelation, and  unfolding between nature and the individual. For Artaud, the peyote would take one to a place that was concealed behind ideas and illusions. And  the paranormal was seen as a necessary element in a constant state of becoming.

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To watch them [the Tarahumara] unswervingly follow their course, through torrents, ground that gives way, dense undergrowth, rock ladders, sheer walls, I cannot help thinking that they have somehow retained the instinctive force of gravitation of the first men ….Now if the Priests of the Sun behave like manifestations of the Word of God, or of his Logos, that is, Jesus Christ, the Priests of Peyote allowed me to experience the actual Myth of Mystery, to become immersed in the original mythic arcana, to enter through them into the Mystery of Mysteries, to look upon the face of those extreme operations by which THE FATHER MAN, NEITHER MAN NOR WOMAN, created all things ….I felt, therefore, that I should go back to the source and expand my pre-consciousness to the point where I would see myself evolve and desire. And Peyote led me to this point. Transported by Peyote I saw that I had to defend what I am before I was born, and that my Self is merely the consequence of the battle I waged in the Supreme against the untruth of evil ideas .Read More:http://psypressuk.com/2011/10/12/literary-review-the-peyote-dance-by-antonin-artaud/ a

Image: http://naxos.tumblr.com/ Read More: http://www.tricksterbook.com/BookDescriptions/LiteraryCriticism.htm ---Deconstructionism and post-structuralism challenge the Western conceits of objectivity and rationality. So-called “primitive” views do also. The debates on totemism, magic, primitive classification, and taboo were direct intellectual antecedents to structuralism. The trickster is central to understanding those debates. Magic (intentional use of paranormal phenomena) is a non-rational endeavor, and it has side effects. When one enters a non-rational realm (e.g., deconstructionism) one may unknowingly encounter the trickster. Some of his qualities were prominently on display in the lives of Paul de Man, Roland Barthes, Jacques Lacan, and Michel Foucault.---

…Nevertheless, artists who fit the shamanic model are three times more likely to report a combination of paranormal experiences as significant in their practice as artists. They are twice as likely to report instances of out-of-body transport, and twice as likely to report visionary experiences, which are directly related to their work as artists. They are vision-driven. Not just two or three, but 81% of the 120 study participants that I found almost by chance alone.

That was the stunner. There were so many who saw with shaman’s eyes. Forty years ago Tal Streeter, one of my study participants, interviewed Louise Nevelson for his MFA thesis. He sent the thesis to me because he had asked Nevelson this question: “What does it mean to be an artist?”
This is what she told him: I think it is as important as any religion. It’s a different way of saying the same thing. They [priests] say it by allegory and words. We say it in a visual way, which is much more immediate, much more direct. . . . You’re given a gift to fulfill. You did not bargain for happiness; you bargained for something else. You bargained for revelation. You bargained for a closer concept of reality. And you bargained for your own sanity, I think, half the time. You’re really right down with the elements.”

That is exactly it. I can add only one thing to Nevelson’s statement. In the main, artists who are vision-driven do not talk about their visions. Theirs is a practical caution and there is good precedent for that caution. Sometimes visionary power goes negative. Sometimes even the
shaman’s power overwhelms the shaman. An out-of-control shaman is a fearful sight—and a danger to all. When that happens, the community rises up. . . and murders the shaman. Read More:http://media.schoolofvisualarts.edu/sva/media/1568/medium/Proceedings2001.pdf

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